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Photo: Courtesy Christie's, New York
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Chest of drawers

Object number



Maker, possibly by Job Townsend, Jr., 1726–1778
Maker Unknown


32 × 35 3/4 × 20 1/2 in. (81.28 × 90.805 × 52.07 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); white pine (drawer sides, transverse boards under top, and back boards); chestnut (backing for drawer dividers, longitudinal batten under top, and drawer bottoms)


Possibly "Job Townsend," in chalk, on a drawer bottom




Mrs. Franklin Bartlett (née Bertha King Post), New York, before 1921; consigned by her estate to American Art Galleries, New York, January 13–15, 1921, lot 607; sold to Alfred Barmore Maclay (1871–1944), New York; by descent in his family, until 1999; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 15–16, 1999, lot 694

Associated names

Mrs. Franklin Bartlett
American Art Galleries
Anderson Galleries
Alfred Barmore Maclay
Descendants of Alfred B. Maclay


The oblong top has molded front and side edges, with a molding below. The top is secured to the case by two horizontal battens, one screwed twice into the top and set behind the top rail, the other dovetailed to the single-board case sides at the back of the case. Below the battens are strips of wood (the proper right strip is missing) attached to the case sides with rosehead nails, which prevent the upper drawer from tipping forward. The two-board case bottom is flush with the bottom of the base molding and attached to the case sides with dovetail joints and to the board behind the bottom rail with a single nail. Within the case are later drawer supports screwed to the case sides. The joints between the case sides and top rail are blind. The drawer dividers and bottom rail meet the case sides in half-blind dovetail joints. The horizontal cockbeading at the drawer openings is integral with the drawer dividers. The vertical cockbeading is applied to the case sides with brads. The case contains three block-fronted and graduated drawers, the upper with one concave and two applied carved shells. The drawer fronts are connected to their sides with dovetail joints, having large, finely cut, narrow-necked pins with half-pins above and half-pins with grooves below. The slightly arched tops of the drawer sides, slightly shy of the drawer front tops, are flattened at the back to align with the chamfered tops of the drawer backs. The two-board drawer bottoms are perpendicular to the fronts, and chamfered at the front, where they are set in grooves and held by rosehead nails, and the sides, where they are secured by brads through runners. They are attached to the drawer backs with rosehead nails. The front faces of the front feet are convex-blocked and volute-carved. Behind the front feet brackets are carved, mitered, horizontal glue blocks below which are vertical blocks. The proper left vertical block is missing. Behind the rear feet are vertical, rectangular blocks attached directly to the case bottom, flanked by horizontal glue blocks, carved ones at the sides, chamfered at the back. The back brackets are simple ogee brackets, set in grooves in the side brackets. Examined by P.E. Kane, September 9, 2003; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Martha H. Willoughby, "The Accounts of Job Townsend, Jr.," American Furniture (1999): 110–113, fig. 1–6.
American Art Association, New York, Catalogue of the Collection of Early American, English, and French Furniture Formed by the Late Mrs. Franklin Bartlett, sale cat. (January 13–15, 1921), lot 607, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (January 15–16, 1999), 140–145, lot 694, ill.