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High chest of drawers

Object number



Maker Unknown


71 1/2 38 20 in. (181.61 96.52 50.8 cm)



Current location



Possibly made in Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Maple (primary); pine (backboards, drawer supports, board under small drawers in upper case; drawer sides); maple (top and bottom boards in upper case); yellow poplar (drawer bottoms); birch (backboard in lower case)




"A," incised, interior of back of proper right small drawers in upper and lower case


G. K. S. Bush, Inc., Washington D.C., 2009. Kelly Kinzle Antiques, New Oxford, Pennsylvania, by 2013; consigned to Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, March 9–10, 2013, lot 86

Associated names

G. K. S. Bush, Inc.
Northeast Auctions
Kelly Kinzle Antiques


The two-board upper-case top is attached with dovetail joints to the two-board case sides. The single-piece crown molding is nailed to the case sides and top rail with brads. The sides are secured to the two-board case bottom with dovetail joints. The upper-case bottom is fitted with two transverse cleats attached with rosehead nails, which allow it to fit into the lower case. The upper case-back consists of three horizontal lapped boards nailed into rabbets in the case top and sides. Within the upper case is a full-depth dustboard below the two small drawers, set in a groove in the case sides. Below are full-depth drawer supports with chamfered ends, fixed to the case sides with brads. The stile between the small drawers joins the top rail in a blind joint and the drawer divider below in a half-blind dovetail joint. Behind it is a guide for the small drawers. The drawer dividers below meet the case sides in half-blind dovetail joints. The bottom rail of the upper case butts to the case sides. The base molding of the upper case is nailed to the case sides with brads. The upper case drawer fronts, large and small, are lipped, thumb-molded and graduated, and attach to their drawer sides with dovetail joints, having thick-necked pins with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. The tops of the drawer sides are slightly arched and shy of the drawer-front tops. The multiple-board drawer bottoms run parallel to the fronts, are chamfered at the sides, where they are secured by brads through full-depth runners, and fit into the rabbets in the drawer fronts without nails. At the back of the drawer bottoms is a narrow board nailed with brads to the drawer backs above. The lower-case back consists of two lapped horizontal boards, attached to the scallop-skirted case side with dovetail joints, having large, thick-necked pins of varying sizes and configurations. At the top of each lower case side is a narrow separate board, joined to the larger board below with wood pins and a rosehead nail in a rectangular cutout, proper right, and wood pins and a countersunk screw, proper left. The tops of the flanking stiles of the lower case are rabbeted to receive the ends of the top rail. The stiles are fitted with grooves, into which fit the drawer guides for the small drawers, and with mortises, into which fit the tenons of the scalloped, shell-carved skirt board. The divider below the upper drawers fits into the stiles with blind joints. Half-lapped to this drawer divider are full-depth supports for the long drawer, fixed with rosehead nails and later fasteners to the case sides and set into grooves in the case-back. Supports for the three small drawers are half-lapped to the skirt board and set into grooves in the case back. The stiles between the small drawers meet the skirtboard below and the drawer divider above in half-blind dovetail joints. Lower-drawer guides which align with these vertical stiles are set into grooves in the case back. The lower case small drawers are constructed in a manner similar to the upper case drawers, but have bottoms perpendicular to their fronts. The square-sectioned cabriole legs, with angular knees and ankles, are of the "detachable" sort, fixed into the lower case corners with carved and chamfered glue blocks, and ending in slipper feet. Examined by P.E. Kane and W.S. Brazwell, March 8, 2013; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd

See also


"G. K. S. Bush, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 176, no. 5 (November 2009): 2, ill.
Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, N.H., Important Weekend Auction, sale cat. (March 9–10, 2013), 30, lot 86.