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


Object number

RIF5338

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

32 40 23 1/2 in. (81.28 101.6 59.69 cm)

Date

1780–1800

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (secondary)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Provenance

G.K.S. Bush, Inc., Washington, D.C.; private collection; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 21, 2011, lot 83

Associated names

G. K. S. Bush, Inc.
Private collection
Christie's

Construction

The top is a single serpentine-front board with pointed corners. The case sides are single boards. The top is supported by battens at the front and back with a block between them, with three screws on the back brace, two on the front, and three on the top rail. The case back is comprised of two horizontal pine boards with a half-lap joint, rabbeted to the sides, where it is attached by cut nails. The case is supported by a three-sided base, to which the base moldings, a cyma recta with fillets above and below, are attached. The frame is attached to the skirt and base with a giant dovetail at front. The feet are secured to the base by means of chamfered pine blocks, two horizontal ones above a vertical one on the front. The outside of the rear feet are similarly attached. The rear feet have incurvate pine brackets that butt to the side of the feet and are secured to the case with a horizontal block in front and a vertical one behind. The drawer fronts consist of four laminations with mahogany veneers and have small applied bead moldings. The interiors bear holes indicating that the brasses are not original. The drawer bottoms are let into grooves at the drawer front and sides, have a feathered chamfer at front and sides, and run perpendicular to the drawer fronts. They are fastened to the drawer backs with cut nails. The drawer dividers are plain, and the joints are covered by facing strips nailed in place. The serpentine facing strips are separate solid pieces. The top edges of the drawer side and back are flat and flush with the drawer fronts. The dovetails, which join drawer fronts to the sides, have half-pins at the top and bottom. The drawer runners are original, attached by three cut nails apiece. The supports are attached to the front rail and back with butt joints. Drawer stops are nailed to the case with two small nails each. There are no drawer guides. The bottom is comprised of two boards. Examined by J. S. Gordon and P. E. Kane, January 19, 2011; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, English Pottery, Rugs, and Prints, sale cat. (January 21, 2011), 75, lot 83, ill.