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


Object number

RIF4082

Maker

Maker, possibly by Joseph Rawson, Sr., 1760?1835

Dimensions

40 1/8 44 20 1/2 in. (101.92 111.76 52.07 cm)

Date

1790–1810

Current location


Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany with light wood inlay (primary); basswood (drawer backs and bottoms and back boards); pine (drawer sides, laminates of drawer fronts, back of third drawer from top, bottom board, drawer dividers)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

Hepplewhite, Federal

Provenance

Clifton Collection; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 19, 2018, lot 200

Associated names

Clifton Collection
Christie's

Construction

The oblong, single-board top has square, line-inlaid edges, straight sides and a serpentine front. It is fixed to three longitudinal battens below by multiple countersunk screws through their undersides. The ends of the battens are dovetailed to the single-board case sides; the front board has a serpentine front, the remaining two are straight. The caseback consists of three horizontal half-lapped boards nailed with brads and cut nails to the back edge of the rear batten, and into rabbets in the case sides. The top rail and the top drawer dividers below have veneered fronts. The top rail and lowest drawer dividers have a straight backs, the two intermediate dividers below have backs with incurvate cutouts. Within the case are drawer supports fixed with rosehead nails and vertical drawer stops nailed with brads into the rear corners. The veneered, line-inlaid serpentine drawer fronts consist of five laminations and meet their flush, flat-topped drawer sides in dovetail joints having finely cut, narrow-necked pins with incised ?points?, with half-pins above and below. The single-board drawer bottoms are parallel to the drawer fronts, where they fit into grooves. They also fit into grooves in the drawer sides, where they were formerly fitted with glue blocks, now missing. The drawer bottoms are nailed with brads to the drawer backs. The single-board case bottom?s serpentine front is fitted with numerous small, rectilinear glue blocks with chamfered edges. These occupy the joint between the case bottom and the skirt, which is serpentine in plan and elevation. The joints between the case bottom and the case-sides skirts, which are serpentine in elevation only, are occupied by larger, more randomly cut glue blocks. The front feet consist of shaped, veneered, vertical blocks, fixed directly to the case bottom. Each rear foot consists of two stacked vertical chamfered glue blocks fixed directly to the case bottom and flanked at the backside by a rectangular longitudinal glue block. Each outside face is a solid mahogany board, rabbeted to receive the rear-facing straight-profiled trapezoidal bracket, which is nailed into rabbets in the case bottom and side-facing rear foot bracket. Examined by P.E. Kane, J.S. Gordon and J.N. Jonhson, January 17, 2018; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Bibliography

Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver, sale cat. (January 19, 2018), lot 200, ill.