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


Object number

RIF5195

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

35 3/4 40 1/2 21 in. (90.81 102.87 53.34 cm)

Date

1780–1800

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (drawer linings, drawer dividers, drawer supports, backboards, bottom board, and blocks across front of bottom board)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"A [?], "B [?]," "C," and "D," in graphite on exterior drawer backs; illegible scrolls, in graphite, on interior bottom of top drawer and tops of drawer dividers

Provenance

Christie's, New York, January 19–20 and 23, 2012, lot 120

Associated names

Christie's New York

Construction

The single-board top has an edge, molded at the front and sides, serpentine at the front, straight at the sides, and blocked at the corners. It is attached to the case by five screws through the upper rail and two screws through a longitudinal batten at the rear. The upper rail is dovetailed into the front board of the two-board case sides. The joint between the end of the upper rail and the front of the case sides is blind. The drawer dividers are thinly veneered and joined to the case sides with half-blind dovetails. The upper drawer divider displays a reinforcing board near a knot. The bottom rail connects to the case sides in a blind joint. The case contains drawer supports chamfered at front and back and attached to the case sides with rosehead nails. Vertical drawer stops are nailed to the sides and glued to the back. The two-board case bottom is dovetailed to the case sides, nailed with three rosehead nails to the bottom rail, and is flush with the bottom of the molded base. The drawers are carved from solid pine and have veneered fronts and cockbeads applied with brads. The fronts of the drawers are deeply scooped around the locks. They are graduated in depth and have locking mechanisms. The tops of the drawer sides are chamfered and flush with the fronts. The tops of the drawer backs are chamfered at the back only. The dovetails vary in size and have prominent scribe lines. The multiple-board drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts, and set into grooves in the sides. Horizontal glue blocks behind the front ogee bracket feet are mitered together above a shaped vertical glue block. The backs of the rear feet are simple shaped brackets with chamfered edges set into grooves in the ogee bracket sides. The rear vertical glue blocks are large and oddly configured, seemingly intended for an alternate use. Examined by P. E. Kane, January 14, 2012; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Christie's New York, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, and Chinese Export, sale cat. (January 19–20 and 23, 2012), 117, lot 120.