image of object
Photo: Courtesy The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wis., 1953.5; photo by Gavin Ashworth
Click the image to enlarge

Chest of drawers


Object number

RIF249

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

81.28 x 95.25 x 55.88 cm (32 x 37 1/2 x 22 in.)

Date

1760–1775

Current location

The Chipstone Foundation

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboards, backing for drawer dividers, drawer linings, drawer dividers, side and back rails of subtop, and horizontal glue blocks on front feet); white pine (bottom board and front rail of sub top)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“A,” in graphite, on interior back of upper drawer; “B,” twice in graphite and once in chalk, on interior back of middle drawer; possible chalk, on proper-right interior side [at front corner] of middle drawer; “C,” in graphite, on interior back of lower drawer; “A” through “C,” in graphite, on upper surfaces of drawer dividers [top to bottom]; “Back,” in graphite, on exterior back board; “H[?],” in chalk, on exterior case bottom; “IX [lumber mark]” and compass work designs, incised on underside of lower drawer divider; "Mr. W. B. Vernon, / This Beauro originally / belonged to Governor Joseph / Wanton one of the early Governors / of Rhode Island. / It has been in our family / nearly a hundred years. / [W?]m C. Langley.," written in ink, on a paper label glued to interior bottom of top drawer

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Governor Joseph Wanton (1705–1780), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to William B. Langley, Newport, Rhode Island, about1880; sold to W. B. Vernon, Newport, Rhode Island. Israel Sack, Inc., New York; sold to John Kinsey, New Haven, Connecticut. John S. Walton, New York, by 1953; sold to Polly Mariner Stone (1898–1995) and Stanley Stone (1896–1987), Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1953; bequeathed by Polly Stone to The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, 1995

Associated names

Governor Joseph Wanton
Langley family
W. B. Vernon
William C. Langley
Israel Sack, Inc.
John P. Kinsey
John S. Walton
Stanley Stone
Polly Mariner Stone

Construction

The oblong, single-board top has molded front and side edges. It is square-edged at the back, where it overhangs. Beneath the top is a single-piece beaded cove molding, which also overhangs the back (where it returns upon itself), and is nailed with brads to the underside of the top. Attached to the underside of the top at the back of the case interior is a longitudinal brace (also nailed with brads into the backboard) half-lapped to transverse braces which are dovetailed to the case sides. The brace is also fixed to the underside of the top with rosehead nails. The transverse braces are half-lapped to a longitudinal brace in front, which contains large empty nail holes. Forward of this brace is a top rail which is half-blind dovetailed to the case sides and contains three countersunk screws. Underneath the transverse braces are tip bars attached to the two-board case sides with screws. At the case backs, the rear longitudinal braces and the rabbeted ends of the transverse braces are visible. Two horizontal butted boards comprise the case back. They are fixed with rosehead nails to rabbets in the case sides and to the ends of the transverse braces. An iron brace at the upper proper left corner of the case back is attached with rosehead nails to the upper case-back board and the end of the transverse brace. Within the case are replaced drawer supports and stops. The blocked drawer dividers are half-blind dovetailed to the case sides. The single-board case bottom is half-blind dovetailed to the case sides. The drawer fronts are lipped, blocked, and thumb-molded; the upper one is shell-carved. The convex blocking is applied to the drawer fronts. The flanking, convex shells of the upper drawer are also applied. The central, convex shell is carved from the solid drawer front, and a broad mahogany block, containing a recess in which a lock once sat, is applied to its inside. The kerf-marked fronts meet the slightly shorter, round-topped drawer sides in dovetail joints, having finely cut pins with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. The upper drawer?s bottom is parallel to the front; the lower drawers have two-board bottoms perpendicular to their fronts. The drawer bottoms are flat. The upper drawer?s bottom fits into a groove in the front. In the lower drawers, they are nailed with brads into a rabbet in the front. The bottoms are full-width, nailed with brads to the drawer backs, whose tops have chamfered outside edges. The vertical corners of the drawer backs are chamfered also. The drawer bottoms have applied runners. The front feet consist of shaped vertical blocks, attached directly to the case bottom, flanked by shaped horizontal blocks, the whole faced with mitered ogee brackets, the front faces convex-blocked and scroll-carved. The rear feet, except for their outside brackets, are replaced; shadows of the original blocking remain. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, May 16, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Bibliography

Stanley Stone, "Rhode Island Furniture at Chipstone, Part I," Antiques 91, no. 2 (February 1967): 207, ill.
Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 8-11, no. 4, ill.
Luke Beckerdite and Alan Miller, "Furniture Fakes from the Chipstone Collection," American Furniture, 2002 (2002): 57, fig. 3.