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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF187

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

177.8 x 95.25 x 52.07 cm (70 x 37 1/2 x 20 1/2 in.)

Date

1750–1780

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Maple (primary); pine (backboards, drawer linings, drawer supports, blocks, and top and bottom of upper case)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"E," in red chalk, on exterior back of one long drawer

Provenance

Alice and Murray Braunfeld, Los Angeles; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 17, 2004, lot 1159

Associated names

Murray Braunfeld
Alice Braunfeld
Sotheby's

Construction

The upper case has a single-board top joined to its single board sides with dovetails, concealed by a two-part crown molding. The two-board upper case bottom is also joined to the case sides with dovetails. A one-piece molding conceals the joint. One of the two lateral cleats on the upper case bottom remains, attached with rosehead nails. The upper case back consists of three horizontal butt-jointed boards, attached in rabbets in the case top, bottom and sides with rosehead nails. The top and bottom rails of the upper case fit into grooves in the case sides. The drawer dividers are attached to the sides with half-blind dovetail joints. The five graduated, lipped, thumb-molded drawer fronts are affixed to their flat-topped drawer sides (just shy of the drawer front tops) with dovetail joints having large, finely cut pins with half-pins above and below. The drawer sides are full depth. The single-board bottoms are parallel to the fronts and chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves, and are nailed with brads to the drawer backs. The upper drawer has blocks within the case to prevent it from tipping, the lower drawers have runners which stop just shy of the case back and are joined to the case sides with rosehead nails. The lower scallop-skirted case side boards are joined to the single-board, straight-skirted back board with dovetails. The case contains a single long drawer above two deep and one shallow small drawers, over a scalloped skirt centering a carved fan. The upper rail is dovetailed to the top of the lower case sides and rabbeted to fit around the lower case stiles. The upper drawer has full-depth drawer supports set in grooves in the backboard and drawer guides attached to the top of the supports with rosehead nails. The lower drawers have supports dovetailed into the skirtboard and fitted into grooves in the backboard and drawer guides fitted into grooves in the backboard and into grooves in the case stiles, where they are reinforced by rectangular, vertical glue blocks with chamfered bottoms. The cabriole legs are of the "detachable" sort, held into the case corners with rectangular, vertical blocks with rounded bottoms, glued and nailed with rosehead nails. The angular square-sectioned legs have knee brackets, are chamfered at the back of the ankles, and end in shod pad feet. The rear legs project beyond the case back. Examined by P.E. Kane and W.S. Braznell; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd

Bibliography

Lita Solis-Cohen, "Braunfield Collection Sells for $3,710,740," Maine Antique Digest (March 2004): 15–D, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, The Collection of Alice and Murray Braunfeld, sale cat. (January 17, 2004), 80–81, lot 1159, ill.