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Photo: Courtesy of Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc., Sharon, Mass.; photo by Matthew J. Buckley
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Chest of drawers

Object number



Maker Joseph Rawson, Sr., 1760–1835


33 3/4 42 1/4 21 1/4 in. (85.73 107.32 53.98 cm) Width, case: 39 5/8 in. (100.65 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (transverse brace under top and drawer linings); pine (bottom board, drawer dividers, blocks on feet, rear feet brackets, back boards, and backing of drawer dividers)


"MADE / BY / Joseph Rawson, / PROVIDENCE.," printed in black ink, on paper label glued to back board below top


Loops with slashes or inverted "V," in chalk, interior drawer backs (center) and on interior drawers bottoms (front center)


Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc., Sharon, Massachusetts, 2012; sold to private collection

Associated names

Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc.


The serpentine-front top has blocked front corners, straight sides, and veneered front and side edges with line-inlaid corners. It is attached to the case below by means of a longitudinal batten (which bears two tenon cutouts and a dovetail key-way indicating an original alternate purpose) at the back with two screw pockets and a partially engaged nail, side battens which are revealed at the back, a medial transverse batten applied with brads, and the top rail of the case itself with two screw pockets and two rosehead nails. The single-board sides are fitted inside with drawer supports attached with brads, and vertical drawer stops attached to the backboard with glue and to the case sides with brads. The back consists of two horizontal boards chamfered at the sides, with a half-lapped joint, affixed to the rabbeted case sides with rosehead nails, to the top through the rear batten with two screw pockets, and to the bottom with rosehead nails. The drawers are graduated in depth and have veneered fronts, and inlaid front corners, as well as inlaid decoration of swags, vertical lines and small circles in light-colored wood. The drawer side tops are square and flush with the drawer fronts. The inside of the drawer fronts have prominent dovetail scribe lines. The dovetails are neat and thick-necked, with half-pins above and half-tails below. The two-board drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts, chamfered, let into grooves in the front and sides and attached to the flat-topped backs with rosehead nails. The base consists of one large and two small horizontal boards dovetailed to the case sides. The front faces of the front ogee bracket feet are blocked to align with the blocked corners of the top and the base molding. The case bottom is flush with the base molding. Behind the brackets are shaped and mitered glue blocks above vertical glue blocks. The rear feet have glue blocks which are not mitered, and simple angular brackets with chamfered edges at the rear, which butt the sides of the rear feet and are reinforced with vertical blocks at the back. Examined by P. E. Kane; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


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), 448, fig. 9.