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

Object number



Maker, attributed to Daniel Spencer, 1741–1796


33 1/4 41 21 1/2 in. (84.46 104.14 54.61 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); pine (drawer linings, drawer supports, backboard, guides for top drawer, glue blocks at top and bottom rail, bottom board, and rear feet brackets); maple (middle and rear battens under top); sycamore (drawer dividers and front batten under top); and yellow poplar (drawer stops)




"A," "B," "C," "D," in chalk, on interior of drawer backs; "1" or "J," in graphite at the interior front corners of drawer sides; "A," "B," and "C," in graphite, on top of drawer dividers below second and third drawers; triple superimposed "O," in graphite, on center undersides of drawer dividers over letters "A," "B," and "C," in graphite, from top to bottom; "Bottom," in chalk, on top of case bottom


Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc., Sharon, Massachusetts, by 2011; a New England gentleman; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 20, 2017, lot 592

Associated names

Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc.


The top is molded at the front and sides where it is supported by a cove molding, nailed into the single board case sides. It is attached to the top rail with three screw pockets. The top overhangs the back slightly and is attached to three longitudinal battens underneath with cut nails. Rectangular glue blocks are interspersed between the horizontal battens, and a single (probably later) transverse batten at the midpoint of the case top runs below them from case back to top rail. Drawer supports and drawer guides are attached to the case sides with cut nails. The back consists of two horizontal boards, the insides of which bear hand-sawn marks. It is attached to the case sides and bottom with rosehead nails. The case bottom is a single board, dovetailed to the case sides. The tops of the drawer sides and drawer backs are flat and flush with the solid drawer fronts. The dovetails are finely cut and evenly spaced, with half-pins above and below. There are prominent kerf marks inside the drawer fronts. Some of the interior drawer sides bear scribe lines for dovetail layout. The drawer battens are single boards, parallel to the drawer front, chamfered at the front and sides. They fit into grooves in the drawer front and sides, and are nailed to the drawer backs with rosehead nails. Supplemental drawer runners/glue blocks are attached to the joints between the drawer sides and bottoms. Handsaw marks are visible on the undersides of the drawer bottoms. The joints which connect the top and bottom rails to the case sides are concealed, while the intervening joints between drawer dividers and case sides are half-blind dovetails. The drawer dividers have cock-beaded veneers. There are continuous vertical drawer stops nailed to the backboard. The upper drawer is divided by partitions with rounded tops into seven compartments. The front ogee bracket feet are mitered and glued to a rectangular vertical block and flanking shaped horizontal blocks. The rear side feet are similarly shaped, and attached, the rear back feet being of simple serpentine profile, fitted into grooves in the adjacent side feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and W. S. Braznell, January 21, 2011; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver, sale cat. (January 20, 2017), 75, lot 592, ill.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 313n5.