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Chest of drawers


Object number

RIF5145

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

33 1/4 41 24 1/2 in. (84.46 104.14 62.23 cm)

Date

1750–70

Current location

Colonel Daniel Putnam Association

Geography

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

Medium

Cherry (primary); chestnut (secondary)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"2," in graphite, on interior front corner of proper drawer side and at center of interior drawer back of second drawer from top; "3," in graphite, at center of interior drawer back and at interior front corner of proper left drawer side; "1" and "2," in graphite, at center undersides of drawer dividers; "T," in graphite, at front corners of interior case sides; "Bottom," in graphite, on interior of case bottom near front rail

Provenance

Godfrey Malbone (1724–1785), Newport, Rhode Island, and Brooklyn, Connecticut; by descent to Mary Putnam Fogg (1843–1928), Brooklyn, Connecticut; bequeathed to Mary Putnam Clewly, Brooklyn, Connecticut; given to the Colonel Daniel Putnam Association, Brooklyn, Connecticut 1928

Associated names

Godfrey Malbone
Mary Putnam Fogg
Mary Putnam Clewley

Construction

The two-board top is finished and thumb-molded on all four sides, each corner incurvate and incised. The two-board sides are joined to the two-board case bottom by a dovetail joint with pins of varying configurations. The case back consists of four vertical boards half-lap jointed to each other and fixed with rosehead nails into rabbets in the case sides, into a rabbet in a cleat under the case top, and directly into the case bottom. The top is secured to the case by means of multiple rosehead nails through longitudinal cleats which are dovetailed into the top of the case sides. The joint between the top rail and case sides is concealed. The drawer dividers attach to the case sides in a half-blind dovetail joint. The bottom rail fits into grooves in the case sides. There are three horizontal glue blocks at the joint between the bottom rail and the base board. The drawer fronts are lipped, thumb-molded and graduated in depth. The tops of the arched-top drawer sides are somewhat shy of the drawer fronts and are attached to them with dovetail joints, having finely cut narrow-necked pins with half-pins above and a half-pins with grooves below, into which fit the drawer bottoms, arranged parallel to the front. The inside of the drawer fronts bear prominent kerf marks. There are runners attached to the slightly chamfered bottoms and the tops of the drawer backs are also chamfered. An oversized, single-piece base molding is nailed to the case sides. A single rosehead nail is nailed to the molding above the front center of the case bottom, which bears prominent vertical water-powered saw marks. The front ogee bracket feet have mitered corners and are attached to the molding above with rosehead nails and (later) screws. Behind the ogee brackets are full-height vertical blocks flanked by shaped horizontal blocks, (some replaced) some with later nails and screws. The backs of the rear feet are simple serpentine brackets dovetailed into the ogee bracket side faces. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, September, 2011; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.