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


Object number

RIF6175

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

32 41 20 3/4 in. (81.28 104.14 52.71 cm)

Date

1770–90

Current location

Unknown

Geography

Probably made in Massachusetts, formerly said to have been made in Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (drawer linings and glue blocks on drawer bottoms); pine (all other secondary wood)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Probably "/2," in graphite, in proper-right interior corner of one of drawers

Provenance

Thomas H. Oxford (1927–2008) and Victor Gail (1929–2014), Long Beach, California; consigned by their estate to Christie's, New York, January 23, 2015, lot 126

Associated names

Thomas H. Oxford
Victor Gail
Christie's New York

Construction

The oblong single-board top is molded at its straight sides and its reverse serpentine front and is secured to dovetail pins atop its single-board case sides by keyways on its underside. The caseback, consisting of two horizontal half-lapped boards, is nailed with brads into rabbets in the top and case sides and directly to the back edge of the case bottom. Within the case are drawer dividers set into grooves in the case sides; these joints are covered by vertical strips face-nailed with brads to the front of the case sides. Drawer supports and stops are replaced. The drawer fronts have beaded edges and are connected to their slightly shorter flat-topped sides with dovetail joints having narrow-necked pins of varying configurations with half-pins above. The single-board drawer bottoms are parallel to the front, where they are held with rosehead nails into rabbets and further secured by small rectangular glue blocks. The drawer bottoms are slightly chamfered at the front and at the full-depth sides, where they fit into rabbets and are accompanied by later thin runner/blocks. The drawer bottoms are nailed to the drawer backs with large flat-headed nails. The case has no top rail. The bottom rail is flush with the top of the case bottom, to which it is joined at the front in a giant dovetail. A base molding is face-nailed with brads to the front of the rail and to the case sides. A frame of flat blocks, to which the feet are attached, is nailed and glued to the front, sides and rear corners of the case bottom. The front feet consist of horizontal shaped blocks, attached directly to the frame, below which are vertical rectangular blocks faced with ogee brackets. The rear feet consist of vertical rectangular blocks attached directly to the frame and flanked by horizontal shaped blocks. Their outside faces are ogee brackets; their back faces are straight-profiled, serpentine brackets. A vertical rectangular block is nailed and glued to the outside of each joint between back and side-facing brackets. Examined by J. N. Johnson and J. S. Gordon, January 21, 2015; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Outsider Art, and Folk Art, sale cat. (January 23, 2015), 103, lot 126, ill.