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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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Tall chest of drawers

Object number



Maker Unknown



Current location

Private Collection


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


Birch (primary); chestnut (drawer linings, drawer supports, and backboards); maple (bottom board); yellow pine (glue blocks); oak (brace under front of top)


Martha Freeman Nicholson (née Sayles, 1896–1947) and Paul Coe Nicholson (1888–1956), Providence, and Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent in their family to the present owners

Associated names

Paul C. Nicholson
Martha Freeman (Sayles) Nicholson


The two-piece top board and case sides are held together with butterflies. The cornice molding is run in a solid piece of wood. Blind dovetails attach the top to the case sides. A block nailed to the top and glued to the top rail reinforces the joint of the top and the rail. The muntin between the two small drawers is pinned to the top rail. Half-blind dovetails attach the drawer dividers to the case sides. The drawer supports are nailed to the case sides; they have been flipped. The central support for the upper two drawers is tenoned through the case back. Half-blind dovetails attach the drawer fronts to the drawer sides with half pins at the top and bottom; the kerf marks on the drawer front are very short. The grain of the drawer bottom runs from side to side; the bottom fits into a rabbet in the drawer front and is nailed to the undersides of the the front, sides and back (the latter with three nails); running strips are added to the sides. The three backboards are horizontal boards butted together and are nailed to rabbets in the case sides and top with rosehead nails; they are supported by a vertical brace inside the case. Half-blind dovetails attach the lower rail to the case sides. The base molding is run in the board that make up the feet; the board is nailed to the lower rail from the exterior. The bottom board is one piece. The vertical blocks on the feet rest on the bottom board; the horizontal blocks abut them. Brackets on the back feet have an elongated ogee-shaped inner edge and fit in grooves in the sides of the back feet. The brasses are replaced. Examined by P. E. Kane October 6, 2004.