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Dressing table

Object number



Maker Unknown


31 1/2 34 19 3/4 in. (80.01 86.36 50.17 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (secondary)




"X," in chalk, center exterior back of long drawer; "I," in chalk, underside long drawer bottom


Private collection, 1992


The single-board top has a molded front and sides, and is unmolded at the back. Under the top is a beaded cove molding, nailed to the case with brads. The top is secured to the case by three screw pockets across the top of the single-board, flat-skirted case back and by two screw pockets, one at each front corner, in transverse battens under the top, There are nails in the underside of the top rail. The case back is joined to the single-board, scalloped-skirted case sides with dovetail joints, having pins of varying sizes and configurations. At the top of the back of the case sides are deep rabbets topped by separate blocking strips. The case contains one long and two short lipped, thumb-molded drawers, the latter centering a carved shell with incised edge flanked by scalloped skirts. Behind the shell carving, mimicking its shaped skirt, is glued a trapezoidal reinforcing block. The upper drawer has drawer supports set into grooves in the backboard and half-lapped to its dustboard. The lower drawers have drawer supports set into grooves in the backboard and in the skirt. At the skirt the supports are reinforced by small glueblocks on the underside. Vertically arranged interior guides for the small drawers fit into grooves in the skirt and backboard and sit under the dustboard below the long drawer. The drawer fronts are attached to their sides with dovetail joints, having thick-necked, somewhat irregularly shaped pins with half-pins above and below. The tops of the drawer sides are chamfered and just shy of the drawer fronts. There are prominent kerf marks inside the drawer fronts. The tops of the drawer backs are chamfered at the rear. The two-board long drawer bottom is parallel to the front, chamfered at the front and sides where it fits into grooves, and nailed to the drawer back with brads. The long drawer has runners applied with brads. The sides of the small drawers serve as their own runners. The legs are of the detachable sort, held into the case with glueblocks now reinforced with screws. The knee brackets are held on with glue and, at the proper right rear leg, later brads. The legs are square-sectioned, have angular knees and terminate in shod pad feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and W. S. Braznell, August 21, 2012; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.