image of object
Photo: Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, 1930.2171
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Object number



Maker, formerly attributed to Thomas Howard, Jr., 1774–1833
Alternate name(s): Thomas Howard
Maker Unknown


13 11/16 126 5/8 54 5/8 in. (34.834 321.565 138.684 cm)



Current location

Yale University Art Gallery


Probably made in Providence, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany, mahogany veneer (primary); light and dark-wood inlays, eastern white pine (secondary)


Israel Sack, New York; sold to Francis P. Garvan (1875–1937), New York, 1929; given to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, 1930

Associated names

Israel Sack, Inc.
Francis P. Garvan


The top consists of a large longitudinal rectangular board with narrow transverse end boards; its upper surface is veneered and its square edge crossbeaded and line-inlaid on the front and sides. It is attached to its conformingly shaped case by screws ? four in pockets through the outside face of the backboard and four through the top rail in front. The case is divided into three parts; in the ceiling of each is revealed a (later) longitudinal batten set back slightly from the top rail, and half-lapped to the transverse end boards of the top. This serves in part as a tip board for the drawers below. The proper left side contains a single deep drawer (faced to simulate two small drawers) whose supports are fixed with cut nails to the single-board case side and the case divider. In each outside corner are multiple vertical glue blocks. Within the proper right bay are two shallow drawers and their outside supports (nailed to blocking between the tops of the legs), and inside supports (nailed directly to the case divider). Multiple vertical stops occupy the exterior corners and the interior rear corner. The hinged doors of the central bay open to reveal a longitudinal batten at the back of the case, glued to the underside of the top. There are multiple rectangular horizontal glue blocks at the joints between the case dividers and the battens under the top. The case dividers are tenoned without wood pins to the intermediate stiles at the case front and through-tenoned (the tenons vary in size) to the single-board case back, which is tenoned, without wood pins, to the rectangular blocks continuous with the square, tapering legs. The veneered drawer fronts meet their flush, flat-topped sides in dovetail joints, having finely cut pins with half-pins above and below. The drawer sides are full depth; their bottoms are parallel to the fronts and chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves, and are accompanied by glue blocks. They are fixed with cut nails to the flat-topped drawer backs. In the back of the center cupboard?s proper left door is an inset diagonal strip of wood. The exterior face of the center cupboard bottom board is held in with longitudinal battens fixed to the case back and front skirt with nails, and with transverse horizontal chamfered glue blocks at the bottom of the case dividers. Examined by P.E. Kane, October 10, 2017; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Gerald W. R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988), 413, 416–417, no. 215, ill.
Patricia E. Kane, "Mahogany: New Research on the Wood of Choice in Early Rhode Island Furniture," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2019): 73–74, fig. 4.