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Photo: Courtesy Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, N.H.
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HIgh chest of drawers

Object number



Maker Unknown


73 1/2 39 19 in. (186.69 99.06 48.26 cm)



Current location



Made in Rhode Island, Possibly made in Kingstown, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Maple (primary); maple (bottom and top boards of upper case); basswood (some drawer linings); oak (backboards upper and lower cases, some drawer supports); white pine (some drawer supports, drawer bottoms and other drawer linings)




Inconsistent markings, in graphite, on drawers and case sides


Dyer family, Kingstown, Rhode Island. Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, New Hampshire (sale held Manchester, New Hampshire), October 25, 2009, lot 175

Associated names

Dyer family
Northeast Auctions


The upper-case top is a single board dovetailed to the sides. The cornice is in two parts, the bottom a cove-molded frieze, the crown nailed to it. The case back consists of two vertical boards, lapped and secured to the frame and to the back edges of the top and bottom boards with rosehead nails and rabbets in the case sides. The upper-case sides are both single boards, dovetailed and nailed with rose-head nails to the top and bottom boards. The upper case contains five thumb-molded drawers of graduated depth, which include functioning locks. The drawer bottoms fit into grooves in the front and side boards and are attached to the backboards with wooden pegs, three per drawer. The top edges of the drawer sides are slightly lower than the drawer fronts and the edges are chamfered. The top edges of the drawer backs are flat, with a slight chamfer at the back. Dovetails are wide, supplemented by rosehead nails at the drawer fronts and wood pegs at the drawer backs. There are half-pins at the top and bottom. The rear dovetails are reversed. Full-width drawer bottoms consist of two boards, parallel to the drawer front; smaller (lower case) drawer bottoms are single, parallel boards. Drawer supports are lapped into drawer dividers, which are connected to the case sides with half-blind half-dovetail joints. The lower-case frame is rabbeted to receive the upper case, which joint is concealed by an applied molding. Vertical drawer dividers in the lower case are dovetailed into the skirt and middle drawer divider. The upper-rail and the skirt are connected to the corner posts with mortise and tenon joints. The upper rail joints are blind, and the skirt joints exhibit three pegs apiece. The lower-case single-board sides are connected to front and back with mortise and tenon joints, both front and back posts exhibiting six pegs apiece. There is one long drawer over three small drawers, the central one wider. The lower-case back is a single board, with a straight, square skirt. The lower-case drawer supports are lapped to the front skirt, reinforced with nails and tenoned into the backboard. Boards tenoned into the sides of the front and rear posts act as drawer guides for the exterior sides of the flanking drawers. There are no knee brackets. The legs are integral with the lower-case corners and have an angular profile and ridged, raised pad feet. The rear legs do no project in back. There are rough-sawn vertical markings on the interior of the skirt, whose back edge is chamfered. Examined by P.E. Kane, B.K. Colman, October 19, 2009; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.


See RIF4526 for a high chest of drawers with a similar drawer configuration in the lower case.

See also


Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, N.H., New Hampshire Fall Auction, sale cat. (October 25, 2009), 47, lot 175, ill.