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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF4328

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

72 38 19 7/8 in. (182.88 96.52 50.483 cm)

Date

1770–75

Current location

The Rhode Island Historical Society

Geography

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

Medium

Cherry (primary); chestnut (linings of upper drawers, drawer runners, back and bottom boards of upper case, dust board under upper drawers, some drawer supports of lower case, some drawer guides of lower case, and vertical framing elements on interior sides); pine (drawer supports of upper case, some drawer supports of lower case, top of upper case, some drawer guides of lower case)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“X,” in graphite, on interior drawer sides and backs; “1” and “2,” on interior drawer sides and back of upper drawers [proper-right to proper-left]; “//,” incised on bottom of divider under proper-left upper drawer; “///” and “////,” incised on drawer dividers under upper two long drawers [from top to bottom]; mathematical figures, in chalk, on exterior bottom of upper drawer of lower case; “3,” in graphite, on interior sides and front of lower proper-left drawer ; “1,” in graphite, on interior front, back, and proper-right side of lower proper-right drawer; “2,” in graphite, on interior proper-right side and back of lower middle drawer; “3,” in graphite, on interior sides and front of lower proper-left drawer; “X,” in graphite, on exterior back of upper case

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Moses Brown (1738–1836), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his granddaughter Avis Lockwood Harris (1802–1892), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to William H. Harris, Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his daughter Anna G. Harris Rose, Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to Julia D. Cushman, Providence, Rhode Island; by gift of Julia D. Cushman and her brother Franklin R. Cushman to the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, 1950

Associated names

Moses Brown
Avis Lockwood Harris
William H. Harris
Susan Gould Harris
Anna G. Harris Rose
Julia D. Cushman
Franklin R. Cushman

Construction

The two-board upper-case top meets its single-board case sides in half-blind dovetail joints having large, finely cut, thick-necked pins with half-pins in front. The top of a vertical element coplanar with the upper case?s top rail is revealed at the front of the case top. Three horizontal half-lapped backboards are nailed with brads into rabbets in the case top and sides. A two-piece crown molding is fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the top rail and case sides. The drawer dividers and bottom rail are half-blind dovetailed to the case sides. Behind the upper drawer divider is a full-depth dustboard. Top bars and drawer supports are nailed to the case sides with brads. The graduated, lipped, thumb-molded and prominently kerf-marked drawer fronts meet their slightly shorter, arched-top, full-depth sides in dovetail joints having thick-necked pins with half-pins above. The upper-case single-board drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts, and chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves. In the joint between drawer bottom and side, flush with the bottom of the drawer sides, are runners nailed on with brads. The bottoms are nailed to the flat-topped drawer backs with brads.. The single-board, straight-skirted lower-case backboard is tenoned and quadruple-wood-pinned to the vertical rectangular blocks integral with the rear legs. The lower-case sides are similarly attached to the front and legs. A single-piece waist molding is fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the top rail, case sides, and tops of the legs. Glued and nailed with brads to the inside of the case sides beside each leg are full-height vertical blocks shaped at the bottom to align with the skirts and glue blocks; they also serve as guides for the upper drawer, and as supports, in shallow rabbets, for the top rail. Large horizontal transverse blocks between these verticals provide support for the upper case and are fixed with rosehead nails to the case sides. The top rail and the drawer divider below are half-blind dovetailed to the tops of the front legs. Vertical dividers between the lower small drawers are half-blind dovetailed to the horizontal divider above and the top of the triple-flat-arched skirt below, the pendant portions of which have rectangular caps but lack finials. Small-drawer guides are tenoned into the backs of the vertical dividers and set into grooves in the backboard. Supports for the long drawer are half-lapped and nailed to the drawer dividers and set into grooves in the backboard. Small-drawer supports are half-lapped and nailed to the top of the skirtboard and set into grooves in the backboard. Between and slightly shy of the vertical blocks inside each case side is a narrow horizontal batten nailed with brads. The legs, continuous with the lower-case stiles, are square-sectioned, with rounded ankles and full-disc shod pad feet. Their knee brackets are held on by nails and glue, and the rear legs project beyond the plane of the backboard. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, August 18, 2014; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "Catalog of The Rhode Island Historical Society Furniture Collection," Rhode Island History 15, no. 4 (October 1956): 124–25, no. 18, ill.