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Photo: Courtesy Newport Restoration Foundation, 2002.18; photo by Christopher Gardner
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Dressing table

Object number



Maker Joiner D, active 1720–60


30 1/2 33 3/4 22 in. (77.47 85.725 55.88 cm)



Current location

Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island


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


Mahogany (primary); pine (drawer linings, backboard, drawer guides, and backing of front case corners); maple (drawer runners and battens); yellow poplar (glue blocks and drawer supports)




“D,” in chalk, on exterior back of upper drawer; horizontal lines, in chalk, on exterior back of lower drawers; “VI,” incised on upper surfaces of proper-left side of proper-right drawer and proper-right side of proper-left drawer; “VII,” incised on upper surfaces proper-right side of proper-right drawer and proper-left side of proper-right drawer; “I,” on upper surfaces of drawers sides of proper-right drawer (towards drawer back); “II,” on upper surface of proper-left drawer side of proper-left drawer (towards drawer back), “X,” incised on exterior case back; “D” or “8,” in chalk, on exterior case back; "21 [later]," in chalk, on underside of top; "8-5," on label on underside of top; red marking "L50.13-44," in red, on interior of large drawer


Ginsburg and Levy, Inc., New York; sold to Doris Duke (1912–1993) for Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island, 1970; Whitehorne House Museum, Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island, from 1974

Associated names

Ginsburg and Levy, Inc.
Doris Duke


The rectangular, single-board top is molded at its front and side edges and square-edged at the back. It is secured to the case below by screws through the top rail, and by screws in rectangular blocks set into grooves in the upper portion of the backboard?s inside face. There are also small rectangular glue blocks (some missing) at the joints between the case top and the single-board, scallop-skirted sides, and a small modern cast metal bracket near the front of the proper right upper case side. The single-board straight-skirted case back is dovetailed to the case sides. At the front of the case are veneered stiles flanking a single-board, scalloped skirt-board which centers a carved shell within an incised arc. The central portion of the skirt-board fits in a notch in the drawer divider above the small drawers. Under the drawer divider, behind the shell, are two horizontal rectangular glue blocks. There are full-depth supports for the upper drawer, half-lapped to the drawer divider below and set into grooves in the back board. Upper-drawer guides below are nailed with brads to the top of these supports and lower-drawer guides are glued to their bottom. Supports for the small drawers are half-lapped to the skirt-board and set into grooves in the back-board. Vertically arranged transverse small-drawer guides are half-lapped to the skirt-board and set into grooves in the backboard. The kerf-marked long-drawer front meets its flush, flat-topped drawer sides in dovetail joints, having narrow-necked pins, with half-pins above and half-pins with grooves below. The two-board, full-width drawer bottom is parallel to the front, where it fits into a groove, and is secured to the drawer sides above by brads in full-depth runners with chamfered ends. There are full-depth guides nailed with brads to the inside corners of the runners. The bottoms are fixed with rosehead nails to the drawer backs. The full-width small-drawer bottoms are perpendicular to the front and nailed with brads to the elements above. At the rear corners of the small drawers, the drawer-side tails project slightly beyond the faces of the drawer backs. The legs are of the ?detachable? sort, held into the corners with vertical rectangular glue blocks, some now reinforced with screws. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, March 27, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


Joiner D used a schematic "D" or hemisphere in chalk on the exterior of his drawer backs sometimes with a horizontal line in chalk across exterior backs of drawers. A number of case pieces have been found with this marking system.

See also


Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 41, fig. 1.25, 125a.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (January 15–16, 1999), 128, referenced in the catalogue entry for lot 679.
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), 455n7.