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Photo: Courtesy Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York
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Dressing table


Object number

RIF973

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

30 34 1/2 22 3/4 in. (76.2 87.63 57.785 cm)

Date

1760–80

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (drawer linings, drawer dividers, back board, drawer supports, drawer guides), pine (blocks between front legs and skirt); chestnut (vertical blocks on legs)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"2," in chalk, on exterior back of proper left small drawer and on underside of proper left drawer support and on side of proper left drawer guide; "3," in chalk twice on underside of proper right drawer support; "1," in chalk, on side of proper right guide

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York, 1989 and 2018

Associated names

Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc.

Construction

The single-board oblong top is molded at its front and side edges, and overhangs its backboard. A single-piece beaded cove molding is fixed to the case?s front and sides beneath the top?s overhang. The molding extends beyond the plane of the case back in a 45 angle. The case back consists of a large straight-skirted, single board, at the top of which is a small narrow strip, ending in small blocks which align with the thickness of the case sides. The back meets the single-board, scallop-skirted case sides in dovetail joints having finely cut, narrow-necked pins of slightly varying configuration, with half-pins above and below. There are two nails ? one cut, one rosehead ? in the outer face of the backboard, near its midpoint, just below the case top. Beneath the top, within the case is a three-sided frame of rectilinear battens fixed with rosehead nails (some missing) to the top of the case sides and the back of the top rail. These battens contain additional rosehead nails on their undersides, presumably fixing them to the underside of the top. Beneath the top, within the case is a three-sided frame of rectilinear battens fixed with rosehead nails (some missing) to the top of the case sides and the back of the top rail. These battens contain additional rosehead nails on their undersides, presumably fixing them to the underside of the top. Within the case a drawer divider is set into grooves in the back of the scalloped and shell-carved skirtboard. Into this are set drawer supports also set into grooves in the case back. Atop these supports are drawer guides nailed with brads to the case sides. Supports for the two small drawers are half-lapped to the skirt-board and set into grooves in the case back. Small-drawer guides are half-blind dovetailed to the skirtboard and also set into grooves in the backboard. The legs are of the "detachable" sort, having rectangular upper sections held into the corners of the case with vertical blocks ? some glued, some fixed with cut nails within the case, and, in the case of the rear legs, fixed with rosehead nails through the backboard. The full-width, lipped, kerf-marked and thumb-molded upper-drawer front meets its slightly shorter, slightly arch-topped drawer sides in dovetail joints having finely cut, very narrow-necked pins with half-pins above and large half-pins with grooves below. Its two-board bottom is full-width and parallel to the front, where it sits in a groove. Its runners are held on with brads, and it is fixed to the bottom of its back with brads. There are chamfered recessed areas with empty nail holes at either end of the drawer bottom?s back edge. The small-drawer fronts meet their nearly flush drawer sides in dovetail joints having half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. The single-board bottoms, perpendicular to the fronts, are fixed with a variety of cut and rosehead nails into the rabbeted front and directly to the drawer sides and backs. The cabriole legs have brackets held on with glue and nails, and some old repairs indicated by later screws. The knees are angular without and within, the ankles are rounded, and the pad feet are shod and slightly offset. Examined by P.E. Kane, August 27, 2018; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., Gallery Catalogue (New York: Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., 1974–2020), vol. 16, p. 10, ill.
"Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 136, no. 5 (November 1989): 899, ill.