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Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's, New York
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Chest of drawers


Object number

RIF195

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

87.63 x 96.52 x 50.8 cm (34 1/2 x 38 x 20 in.)

Date

1770–1790

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (drawer sides, back boards, and bottom board)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"This [?] bureau was given / to [?] R. [?] Kinson by her Mother / on her birthday, June 1, 1897" written in ink on a paper label on the backboard

Provenance

Possibly the mother of R. Kinson, before 1897; possibly given to R. Kinson, 1897. By descent in a family in the San Fernando Valley, California, before about 1950; sold to Richard Gorham, Carmel, California, about 1950; by descent to his son, by 2004; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 15–16, 18, 2004, lot 460

Associated names

Richard Gorham
Sotheby's

Construction

The serpentine-front single-board top has pointed corners, straight sides, and a molded edge. The case sides are secured to the single-board case bottom with dovetail joints. The case back consists of three horizontal butt-jointed boards attached with rosehead nails into rabbets in the case sides and nailed to the back edge of the case bottom. The four serpentine-front drawers are cut from the solid and have solid cock-beaded drawer dividers, half-blind dovetailed into the case sides. There is no top or bottom rail. The drawers have full-depth supports, attached to the case sides with rosehead nails, and vertical stops glued to the inside of the backboards. Each drawer divider has glued to its top face two small thin rectangular blocks. The drawers are not graduated in depth. The fronts attach to the sides with dovetail joints, having large, thin-necked pins with a half-pin above. The drawer sides are slightly rounded and slightly shy of the tops of the drawer fronts. The two-board drawer bottoms are chamfered at the front and sides, parallel to the front, have runner strips attached with a screw and rosehead nails under their midpoint, fit into grooves in the drawer sides and fronts, and are nailed with rosehead nails up into the drawer bottoms above. Full-depth glue blocks occupy the joints between drawer bottoms and drawer sides. Behind the base molding inside the case are large, chamfered horizontal glue blocks?four extant, one missing. In the front, below the deep molded base are short cabriole legs with shaped knee brackets attached with screws, angular knees, deeply carved tendons and claws with undercut talons clasping elongated ball feet. The rear feet are comprised of a shaped vertical block flanked by two chamfered glue blocks nailed and glued to the case bottom, and an ogee bracket facing (with unusually high base) at the side and a simple angular bracket with slightly chamfered edges nailed with brads into the case bottom and dovetailed into the outside facing at the rear. An additional vertical block behind the angled bracket is glued to the outside facing, nailed to the case bottom, and nailed to the angled bracket with brads. The blocking and angled bracket of the proper right rear foot are replaced. Notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd from photographs supplied by the owner.

Bibliography

Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 15–16, 18, 2004), 246, lot 460, ill.