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Photo: Courtesy The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Bayou Bend Collection, Gift of Miss Ima Hogg
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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF229

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

87 x 41 x 22 5/8 in. (220.98 x 104.14 x 57.468 cm)

Date

1750–1800

Current location

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboards and some glue blocks); yellow poplar (some drawer dividers); eastern white pine (drawer linings and some interior dividers); yellow pine (divider between the bank of drawers in the lower case)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“Upper,” in graphite, on interior back of lower case; “1,” in graphite, on interior back of long drawer of lower case; illegible inscription, in graphite, on top of divider under long drawer of lower case; “2,” in graphite, on interior back and interior proper-right side of proper-right drawer of lower case; “3,” in graphite, on interior back and interior proper-right side of middle drawer of lower case; “4,” in graphite, on interior back and sides of proper-left drawer of lower case; “2,” in graphite, on top of support under bottom middle drawer of lower case; “1,” in graphite, on interior back of proper-right top drawer of upper case; “2,” in graphite, on interior bottom, back, and sides of proper-left top drawer of upper case; “3,” in graphite, on interior back and bottom of top long drawer of upper case; “4,” in graphite, on interior back, bottom, and proper-right side of middle long drawer of upper case; “5,” in graphite, on interior bottom, back, and proper-left side of bottom drawer of upper case; “1” through “3,” in graphite, on tops of drawer dividers of upper case [top to bottom]; “E[?]de,” in graphite, on interior bottom of upper case at lower front rail

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Bartol family, Boston. David Stockwell, Philadelphia; sold to Ima Hogg (1882–1975), Houston, 1953; given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1969

Associated names

Bartol Family
David Stockwell, Inc.
Ima Hogg

Construction

UPPER CASE. The four horizontal backboards are nailed to rabbets in the sides, to the edge of the bottom board, to the back of the frame supporting the small drawers and to the back edge of the top board; the back edge of the top board is not visible from the back. A vertical brace nailed through the backboards and that kept them aligned is now missing. The bonnet is open at the back and the edges of the backboard have elaborate serpentine outline. The cornice molding extends all the way into the bonnet opening. The circular openings in the scrollboard lack edge moldings. A frame supports the small drawers at the top of the case; the board spanning the back of the case is tenoned into members nailed to the case sides; a medial support is tenoned into the member spanning the back. The drawer supports are nailed to the two-piece case sides. Half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer dividers to the case sides. Half-blind dovetails fasten the bottom board to the case sides with half keys at the front and back and eight full dovetails between them. An ogee and three-quarter round molding is applied to the bottom of the sides and front of the case. LOWER CASE. Half-blind dovetails fasten the case back to the two-piece case sides with half keys at the top and bottom and ten full dovetails between them. The joint of the top rail, drawer divider and skirt with the case sides is covered with veneer. The legs are glued to the case sides the joints are reinforced with vertical glue blocks. The medial supports for the lower drawers are dovetailed to the skirt; the guides for the inner edges of the drawers are dovetailed to the muntins; the supports are tenoned to the case back. There are no guides for the outer edges of the lower drawers along the case sides. The muntin slides in a dovetail keyway in the drawer divider; the muntin continues to the bottom of the skirt and the joint is reinforced on the outer faces with a vertical glue block whose tip is curved as it meets the bottom of the skirt. The side supports for the long drawer is lapped to the drawer divider at the front and tenoned into the backboard. Examined by P. E. Kane, March 2004

See also


Bibliography

"David Stockwell, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 63, no. 4 (April 1953): 331.
Helen Comstock, American Furniture: Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Century Styles (New York: Viking Press, 1962), 161, fig. 315.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 39, fig. 1.23.
David B. Warren et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1998), 80–81, no. F131, ill.