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Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 63.172
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Chest-on-chest


Object number

RIF17

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

Height: 216.535cm (85 1/4in.); Width, feet: 109.855cm (43 1/4in.); Width, lower case: 101.918cm (40 1/8in.); Width, upper case: 98.425cm (38 3/4in.); Depth, feet: 53.975cm (21 1/4in.); Depth, lower case: 49.53cm (19 1/2in.); Depth, upper case: 48.578cm (19 1/8in.)

Date

1760–1790

Current location

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Geography

Made in Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (drawer sides and back, backs of drawer dividers of upper and lower case, most drawer supports of upper case, drawer supports of lower case, vertical brace at backs of upper and lower cases, sides and top of pediment opening, and vertical blocks of front feet); chestnut (most drawer bottoms, center support for top drawers of upper case, original tip bar for proper-right upper drawer of upper case, top of upper case, back of pediment, bottom of upper and lower cases, blocks at lower front rail of lower case and upper front rail of upper case, and brackets of rear feet); white pine (drawer runners, bottoms of top long drawer of upper case and bottom two drawers of lower case, center guide for upper drawers of upper case, top boards of pediment, backboard of upper case , and alignment block on underside of upper case)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“1” through “5,” in graphite, on interior sides [at upper front corners] and interior back of drawers of upper case [from proper-right upper drawer to lower drawer]; compass work, on exterior back of drawer marked “3”; illegible graphite, on exterior proper-left side and interior back of drawer marked “4”; probably "A," in graphite, on top of divider under proper-left upper drawer of upper case; probably "C," in graphite, on top of divider under second long drawer of upper case; “Top,” in graphite, on interior top and sides [at upper front corners] of upper case; “2,” in graphite, on interior proper-left side of upper case [front of case, at level of first long drawer]; mathematical calculations and illegible text, in graphite, on exterior lower back of upper case; “1” through “3,” on interior proper-left side of lower case [front of case, at levels of second and third drawers from top] and on underside of corresponding dividers [from bottom to top]; illegible graphite, on divider under second long drawer from top of upper case; “Front Top,” in graphite, on underside of lower case top [at front rail]; probably “Lower,” in chalk, on exterior top of lower case; “No[?],” in chalk, on underside of upper case bottom; "178/1385 [20th century]," in black crayon, on the upper case back; "1432-5 [20th century]," in black crayon, on lower case top

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Mrs. Franklin Bartlett, New York, before 1921; consigned by her estate to American Art Association, New York, January 13–15 1921, lot 671; sold to William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951), San Simeon, California; sold to Doris Brian Hepner and Milton Hepner; given to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1963

Associated names

American Art Association
Mrs. Franklin Bartlett
William Randolph Hearst
Doris Brian Hepner
Milton Hepner

Construction

On the upper case: Screws fastened from behind hold the rosettes to the pediment board; the cornice moldings are toenailed near the corners from above. The back is three horizontal boards. The mid-molding is nailed to the upper case. On the lower case: A foot-long groove cut into the two-piece top accommodates a wooden tongue nailed to the upper-case bottom to hold it in place. The back of the lower case is two horizontal boards and the bottom board is two-piece. The inner surfaces of the large drawer fronts are scored. The top two drawers have spring locks. The backboards of both cases are reinforced inside with vertical strips. Source: Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol.II, Late Colonial Period: The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (New York: Random House, 1985), 224.

Bibliography

American Art Association, New York, Catalogue of the Collection of Early American, English, and French Furniture Formed by the Late Mrs. Franklin Bartlett, sale cat. (January 13–15, 1921), lot 671.
Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Late Colonial Period, The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (New York: Random House, 1985), 224–225, no. 145, ill.