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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)


Maple (case sides, top, and bottom and drawer fronts); chestnut (drawer linings, drawer supports, and backboards)


"X" is incised on the exterior of some drawer backs.


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 center three drawers lock. The cornice moldings are run in a two-piece board. The case top is dovetailed to the case sides. The top rail fits into a rabbet in the case sides. The drawer divider below the small drawers is fastened to the case sides with a half-pin, half-blind dovetail; the other drawers dividers fasten with half-blind dovetails. Half-blind dovetails fasten the muntin between the small drawers to the top rail and to the drawer divider below the small drawers. The muntin pierces the drawer divider and is nailed to the central drawer support that is lapped to the drawer divider. At the rear the central drawer support rest on a board spanning the back of the case. The case sides are single boards and the drawer supports are nailed to them. The drawer fronts are dovetailed to the drawers sides with a half pin at the top and a half tail at the bottom; the kerf marks inside the drawers are long and coarse; the drawer fronts have pockets on the interior for the threaded hardware shafts. The top edges of the drawer sides are rounded and the top edges of the drawer backs are flat. The grain of the drawer bottoms runs from side to side.The drawer bottoms are chamfered at the front and sides and fit into grooves in the drawer fronts and sides; the bottom is nailed to the underside of the back. The five horizontal backboards are half-lapped to one another and are nailed with cut nails to rabbets in the top and case sides and to the back edge of the bottom. The one-board bottom is dovetailed to the case sides. Half-blind dovetails fasten the lower front rail to the case sides. The feet are replaced. Examined by P. E. Kane, October 6, 2004.