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Chest of drawers

Object number



Maker Unknown


31 1/2 38 1/4 20 1/2 in. (80.01 97.16 52.07 cm)



Current location



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


Cherry (primary); chestnut (backboard, drawer linings, tip bars, drawer supports); yellow poplar (bottom boards, glue blocks on feet, rear foot brackets, bottoms of small drawers)




“1,” in graphite, on exterior back of proper-right bottom and middle small drawers; “2,” in graphite, on exterior back of proper-left bottom and middle small drawers; loops, in graphite, on exterior backs of all drawers


Morgan Mac Whinnie, Southampton, New York, 2014; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 17 and 20, 2019, lot 1621

Associated names

Morgan Macwhinnie


The rectangular oblong single-board top is molded at its front and side edges, and secured to the top of each single-board case side by three wood pins. There are additional metal fasteners in the underside of the top rail, which is set into grooves in and tenoned to the case sides. Underneath the top, at the back of the case is a longitudinal batten tenoned also to the case sides. Between the rail and batten are tip boards fixed with rosehead nails to the case sides. The two-board caseback is nailed with brads into rabbets in the case sides. The two-board case bottom meets the case sides in dovetail joints with large, thick-necked pins. Within the case are full-depth drawer supports nailed with brads to the top of the case bottom; drawer guides which end shy of the case back are nailed to the tops of these. Drawer supports for the upper small drawers are set in grooves in the back board and half-lapped to drawer dividers in front; full-depth drawer guides are nailed to the tops of these. Later drawer supports are nailed to the case sides. Drawer dividers are half-blind dovetailed to each other and to their respective neighboring elements ? case sides and the bottom rail. The bottom rail is set into grooves in the case sides. The clipped, thumb-molded and deeply kerf-marked drawer fronts meet their slightly shorter, grooved-top sides in dovetail joints having large, thick-necked pins with half-pins above. The single-board drawer bottoms are perpendicular to the fronts and chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves in the elements above, and are fixed with rosehead nails to the flat-topped drawer backs. The case?s base molding is held on with an assortment of nails and wood-filled fasteners. The front feet consist of roughly shaped blocks attached directly to the case bottom, with a shaped vertical block below, the whole faced with ogee bracket feet. The rear feet are configured similarly, except for having straight-profiled incurvate back brackets with chamfered edges. Attached to the back face of the straight bracket is a vertical block. The back edge of the side-facing rear bracket has an ogee profile. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, March 18, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


The tops of the drawers sides have a grooved profile.


Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 17 and 20, 2019), 277, lot 1621, ill.