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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF197

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

213.36 x 103.505 x 50.8 cm (84 x 40 3/4 x 20 in.)

Date

1765–1795

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); white pine (secondary)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"Auction / at / 2 O'Clock," in chalk, on backboard of upper case

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Sotheby's, New York, January 15–16 and 18, 2004, lot 620; sold to The Stanley Weiss Collection, Providence, Rhode Island

Associated names

Sotheby's
The Stanley Weiss Collection

Construction

UPPER CASE. The two horizontal backboards are nailed to rabbets in the case sides and the the back edge of the bottom board. The top and bottom boards are dovetailed to the case sides; on the bottom there are half keys at the front and back and five full dovetails between them. Three glue blocks reinforce the joint of the bottom board with the front rail; two battens nailed to the underside of the bottom run from front to back. The back edge of the top board is visible on the back; the backboard for the pediment rests on it. The cornice moldings only extend into the bonnet opening only the depth of the circular openings in the scroll board. Vertical glue blocks reinforce the joints of the sides of the bonnet opening with the rear of the front scroll board and with the backboard at the rear. Half-blind dovetails fasten the top rail and the drawer dividers to the case sides. The drawer supports are fastened to the case sides with rose head nails; those for the two narrow drawers at the top butt a board that spans the back of the case and is tenoned into the sides. The support for the inner edges of the two narrow drawers is lapped to the board spanning the back of the case. The muntin between the two narrow drawers is dovetailed to the drawer divider below and is tenoned to the rail above. Boards nailed to the case sides above the narrow drawers keep the drawers from tipping when open. The bottoms of the drawers fit in grooves in the drawer fronts and are nailed flush on the other three sides; runners are added along the side edges. Half-blind dovetails attach the drawer fronts to the drawer sides with half keys at the top and bottom; on the second drawer from the bottom there are three full dovetails between the half keys. LOWER CASE. The wide drawer is constructed like those in the upper case. On the narrow drawers the bottoms are nailed to rabbets in the drawer fronts and flush with the other three sides. The PR drawer has five full dovetails between the half keys. Half-blind dovetails fasten the case back to the sides; the joint of the top rail, drawer divider, and skirt at the front is covered with veneer. The legs are glued to the case sides reinforced with vertical blocks. For the outer narrow drawers two drawer guides are nailed to the case sides on each side.The muntins between the center drawer and the outer drawers is dovetailed to the drawer divider above and is glued to the skirt below. The drawer guides for the center skirt are tenoned to a slot in the back of the muntins; the other ends of the drawer guides are tenoned into the case back. The narrow drawers have medial supports lapped to the skirt at the front and tenoned into the case back. Examined by P. E. Kane and W. Scott Braznell, January 2004

Bibliography

Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 15–16, 18, 2004), 319, lot 620, ill.
"A Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Bonnet Top Chest of Drawers," http://tildenthurber.com/stanleyweiss/pages/items12/sw01229r.html (accessed August 27, 2010).