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Photo: Courtesy Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Del., 1957.1394
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Object number



Maker Unknown


Height, case to scroll top: 91 in. (231.141 cm) Width, cornice: 40 3/8 in. (102.553 cm) Width, upper case: 35 7/8 in. (91.123 cm) Width, lower case: 37 1/2 in. (95.25 cm) Width, feet: 40 1/4 in. (102.235 cm) Depth, cornice: 22 in. (55.88 cm) Depth, upper case: 19 1/2 in. (49.53 cm) Depth, lower case: 20 1/8 in. (51.118 cm) Depth, feet: 21 5/8 in. (54.928 cm)



Current location

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (drawer runners, bonnet boards, drawer linings, backboards in lower case and two lower backboards in upper case, board under bonnet, and one board of dust board under top drawer); white pine group (top backboard upper case, top board lower case, backing of drawer dividers, drawer supports, interior glue blocks, one board of dust board under top drawer, and vertical braces flanking board under bonnet)




“X,” incised on exterior back of proper-right upper drawer; “XI,” incised on exterior back of proper-left upper drawer; “X,” in chalk, on exterior backs of long drawers of upper case; “1” through “5,” in chalk, on tops of dividers of upper case; “X1” through “X4,” in chalk, on exterior back of drawers of lower case [top to bottom]; “3,” in chalk, on divider under top drawer of lower case; “X” then “2” through “7,” in graphite, on tops of dividers under long drawers of upper and lower cases [markings appear twice on each divider and are probably not original]; sketch of the back of a shield-back federal-style chair, in chalk, on exterior bottom of top drawer of lower case; "Bottom / xx," in chalk, on underside of upper case; "Bottom," in chalk, on underside of lower case; "XI" or "IX," incised on right side of bonnet top


Joseph Brown (1733–1785), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his daughter Mrs. Richard Ward (née Elizabeth "Eliza" Brown, 1769–1845), Providence, and New York. Mrs. Henry W. Burnett, Providence; sold to Mrs. John R. Gladding (died 1939), Providence, and East Thompson, Connecticut 1922; bequeathed to Mrs. Henry W. Burnett. William B. Spooner, Jr., Providence, 1941. Joe Kindig, Jr. (1898–1971), York, Pennsylvania; sold to Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969), Winterthur, Delaware, 1944; bequeathed to Winterthur Museum, 1969

Associated names

Henry Francis du Pont
Mrs. Henry W. Burnett
Mrs. John R. Gladding
Elizabeth Brown Ward
Joe Kindig, Jr.
William B. Spooner Jr.
Joseph Brown


(Upper case) The front scrollboard and case sides extend above the elaborate pediment molding, which is nailed to their surfaces creating the illusion of a box pediment. The enclosed bonnet is nailed to a rabbet in the scrollboard and to the upper backboard. The edges of the top boards of the boxes are finished with an applied molding. The circular openings of the scrollboard flanking the central plinth are finished with a face molding. The fluted plinth is reinforced on the back by a long vertical block. The rosettes are carved from solid wood and appear to be one piece with the pediment molding. Inside the case behind the pediment there are vertical glue blocks at each corner and on either side of the central top drawer; the blocks flanking the central drawer are also attached with rosehead nails. Thin vertical partitions framed the front opening for the center top drawer, secured with dovetails and nails. The drawer blades are joined to the one-piece sides on a sliding dovetail, the joints covered by a plain facing strip. The top blade is butted by a thin dust board; the others have a 6" pine backing. Behind the blades, then runners are nailed to the sides of the case. The backboard consists of three horizontal boards, the lower two chamfered and rabbeted together. The entire back unit is rabbeted to the case sides. The two-piece bottom board is dovetailed to the sides and reinforced with framing battens on the bottom. A waist molding is nailed to the lower edge of the case. (Lower case) A second, complex, waist molding is nailed to the upper edge of the case. The top and bottom boards are dovetailed to the sides. The rails and blades are dovetailed to the case sides, the joints covered by plain facing strips. Internal runners are nailed to the sides of the case (reversed because of wear). The two lapped horizontal boards of the backboard are rabbeted to the case sides and attached with rosehead nails. The bottom molding is nailed to the case. The blocked-ogee front foot facings and brackets are mitered at the corners and glued to vertical support blocks chamfered on the inside. Shaped horizontal glue blocks parallel the front and side brackets. At the back, an ogee-shaped bracket is glued to a vertical support block; both the bracket and the rear ogee-carved foot panel are held by a series of horizontal glue blocks. The drawer fronts are lipped and beaded all around. The shells and blocking are formed from solid wood; the area behind the projecting shells is hollowed out to reduce the weight of the drawer. The drawer sides are flat on the upper edge; the backs are chamfered slightly. The dovetails joining the drawer sides to the front and back have unusually thin throats. The drawer bottoms, the grain running front to back, are rabbeted to the sides, nailed front and back, and further secured by battens. The elaborate pierced hardware is original. Source: Nancy E. Richards and Nancy Goyne Evans, New England Furniture at Winterthur: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods(Winterthur, Del.:Winterthur Publications, 1997), 396.


Nancy E. Richards and Nancy Goyne Evans, New England Furniture at Winterthur: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Publications, 1997), 394–397, no. 193, ill.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 35, 336, fig. 1.18, 8.22, 8.22a–b.
"Little Known Masterpieces, I. Block-Front Chest-on-Chest," Antiques 1, no. 1 (January 1922): 17-18, ill.
"William B. Spooner, Jr. advertisement," Antiques 40, no. 3 (September 1941): 131, ill.
Wendy A. Cooper and Tara L. Gleason, "A Different Rhode Island Block-and-Shell Story: Providence Provenances and Pitch-Pediments," American Furniture (1999): 165, 185, fig. 3, 20.
Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury (New York: MacMillan Company, 1963), no. 317, ill.
Luke Vincent Lockwood, Colonial Furniture in America, 3rd ed., 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926), vol. 1, pp. 353, 355, fig. 12.
Wendy A. Cooper, "HF du Pont's Fondness for Furniture: A Collecting Odyssey," Antiques 161, no. 1 (January 2002): 163, pl. X.
Henry H. Hawley, "A Townsend-Goddard Chest-on-Chest," Bulletin of The Cleveland Museum of Art 64, no.8 (October 1977): 278, fig. 2.
David Robb, Art in the Western World (rev.ed.) (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1963), 710, ill.
Alice Winchester, "Perspective," Antiques 51, no. 1 (January 1972): 148, ill.
Doreen Beck, Book of American Furniture (London: Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1973), 56, fig. 62.
Joseph T. Butler, American Furniture from the First Colonies to World War I (London: Triune Books, 1973), 50.
Victoria Kloss Ball, Architecture and Interior Design: Europe and America from the Colonial Era to Today (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1979), 218, fig. 5.43.
David Stockwell, "American Blockfront Furniture," America in Britain 9, no.2 (May 1971): 15, ill.
Julia Raynsford, The Story of Furniture (London: Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1975), 78.
Lanto Synge, Furniture in Color (Poole, Eng.: Blanford Press, 1977), 132, fig. 56.
Robert Bishop and Patricia Coblentz, American Decorative Arts: Three Hundred Sixty Years of Creative Design (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1982), 107, pl.121, ill.
John Cordor The Museologist 155 (Winter 1981): cover, ill.
William S. Ayres, Contrasts: Philadelphia and Newport Furniture Styles, 1755–1780, exh. cat. (Wilmington, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 1982), 69, fig. 9.
Jay E. Cantor, Winterthur (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1985), 148.
Oscar P. Fitzgerald, Three Centuries of American Furniture (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1982), 75, fig. IV-49, IV-50.
Joseph Downs, American Furniture: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods in the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum (New York: MacMillan Company, 1952), no. 183, ill.
Edgar G. Miller, American Antique Furniture: A Book for Amateurs, 2 vols. (Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Press, 1937), vol. 1, pp. 483–85, no. 880.
Oscar P. Fitzgerald, American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Lanham, Md.: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2018), 85–86, fig. 4.50, 4.51.