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Photo: Courtesy private collection, photo by Laura Wulf
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Object number



Maker Ebenezer Allen, Jr., 1755–1793
Maker Cornelius Allen, 1767–1835


85 39 19 in. (215.9 99.06 48.26 cm)


probably 1786

Current location

Private Collection


Made in New Bedford, Massachusetts, formerly said to have been made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); eastern white pine, birch, or cherry (secondary)


"Cornelius Allen" in graphite on top left of medial drawer divider on upper case (written as if from the inside, so probably inscribed before the case was assembled)


"Longplain" with perhaps "[??] 86" in script in chalk on top board of lower case; "A/B/C" (bottom to top) in graphite in large script on tops of drawer dividers on bottom case; "C / B / A" (bottom to top) in graphite on underside of dividers of lower case; "2 / 3" in chalk on underside of case; "G / F" in graphite on top of case; some drawers numbered in pencil in florid script. Source: Brock Jobe, Gary R. Sullivan, and Jack O'Brien, Harbor and Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts 1710–1850 (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2009): 183.


Robert Treat Payne (1731–1814), Taunton, Massachusetts; by descent in his family; consigned to Northeast Auctions, Hampton, New Hampshire (sale held Manchester, New Hampshire), May 14–15, 1988, lot 250

Associated names

Robert Treat Paine
Descendants of Robert Treat Paine
Northeast Auctions


Cornelius Allen (1767–1835) made this piece in New Bedford in the late 1780s. He signed it and also inscribed it "N. Bedford, Barnstable County, and Longplain." It is likely made in the shop of his brother, Ebenezer Allen, Jr., (1755–1793), who had a shop in the Longplain section of Acushnet (part of New Bedford), and who worked in Dartmouth/New Bedford from the late 1770s until his death in 1793. Cornelius and Ebenezer Allen, Jr., had close ties to Newport, as their maternal uncle was John Goddard (1723–1785).

See also


Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, N.H., New Hampshire Auction, sale cat. (May 14–15, 1988), 17, lot 250, ill.
Jack O'Brien, "A New Bedford Masterpiece," Antiques 171, no. 5 (May 2007): 138–145, fig. 2, 2a, 6–8.
Brock Jobe, Gary R. Sullivan, and Jack O'Brien, Harbor and Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710–1850 (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 2009), 181–83, no. 62, pls. 62, 62.2, ill.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 43, 59n29, fig. 7.