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Photo: Courtesy The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Va., Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Warren Koontz, G1977-225
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Chest of drawers

Object number



Maker John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


34 1/2 36 1/4 19 1/4 in. (87.63 92.075 48.895 cm)



Current location

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboards, drawer supports, backings for drawer dividers, drawer stops, glue blocks at the joint of the top and front rail); yellow poplar (drawer linings, bottom board); maple (battens, backing of bottom rail)


"MADE BY / JOHN TOWNSEND / NEWPORT 179?," printed in black ink, on a paper label glued centered inside top drawer bottom


"A" in graphite in center of the underside of the bottom board.


John S. Walton, New York, 1958; sold to Dr. and Mrs. Warren W. Koontz; given to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1977

Associated names

Dr. and Mrs. Warren Koontz
John S. Walton, Inc.

See also


Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 136, p. 209, pl. 13, fig. 3.9, 3.54, 3.55,.
"The New DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery at Colonial Williamsburg," Antiques 128, no. 2 (August 1985): 269, ill.
Mack Headley, "Eighteenth-Century Cabinet Shops and the Furniture-Making Trades in Newport, Rhode Island," American Furniture (1999): 29, fig. 12.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts: Including the Block and Shell Carved Chest of Drawers Made by John Townsend, sale cat. (June 18, 1998), 91, under lot 151, fig. 10, 10a.
Morrison H. Heckscher, "John Townsend's Block-and-Shell Furniture," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1146, fig. 5.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 118–19, no. 20, 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), 453.
Tara Gleason Chicirda and Mack Cox, "A Rhode Island Cabinetmaker in Kentucky: Revelations of a Clock Reexamined," American Furniture (2018): 184, fig. 25 (detail).