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Photo: Courtesy Christie's, New York
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Object number



Maker Unknown
Maker, formerly attributed to Thomas Howard, Jr., 1774–1833
Alternate name(s): Thomas Howard


41 1/4 × 47 1/2 × 20 5/8 in. (104.78 × 120.65 × 52.39 cm)


probably 1799

Current location



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


Mahogany and light and dark wood inlay (primary); cherry (interior of cupboard doors); birch (top and bottom rails); chestnut (drawer bottoms); pine (drawer sides, proper right drawer divider, sides of cupboard, vertical stiles, bottom board, back board, underside of top, drawer guides, and glue blocks)




Illegible chalk, interior sides of proper right upper drawer; "X 1," in graphite, on interior back of proper right upper drawer; "L," in graphite, possibly for "left," on proper right side of proper right lower drawer' "X 2," in graphite, on interior back of same drawer; in ink, on a Sterling Meaker Company, Newark, New Jersey, cloth tag in the bottle drawer, :This sideboard was left to me by my / mother. It belonged to her parents / Asa & Mary (Wheaton) Handy & was bought / at the time of their marriage, which oc / cured on Nov. 29, 1799. The two narrow / white & gilt cups in the center belonged / to Mary Wheaton Handy / over / Other articles that belonged to Asa & / Mary Handy are the square mahogany / table with leaves, the round maple tables / with leaves, the mahogany caster table & / the rush bottom chairs. J. Albert Stowe"


Mary Wheaton Handy (1772–1807) and her husband Asa Handy (1762–1843), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to their daughter Mrs. Joseph F. Stowe (née Mary Ann Handy, 1806–1886), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to her son Joseph Albert Stowe (born 1845), Providence, Rhode Island, then Hudson, New Jersey. A New England gentleman; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 20, 2017, lot 638

Associated names

Asa Handy
Mary Wheaton Handy
Joseph Albert Stowe
Mary Ann Handy Stowe


The upper surface and square edges of the rectangular two-board top are veneered. It is secured to the case below by screw pockets in the outer face of the backboard (three), the inner faces of the veneered case sides (one each), and the underside of the upper rail. The case sides are tenoned, without wood pins, to the tops of the legs. The single-piece back board is tenoned to the rear legs without wood pins, and nailed with brads to the back edges of interior partitions. There are multiple nails (some later) at the top, bottom and lateral extremities of the backboard, as well as a single rosehead nail at the midpoint of its skirt. The single-board case bottom is fixed with nails to the underside of the case interior?s partitions and to blocking at the case sides. There are three triangular horizontal glue blocks behind the center portion of the case?s serpentine bottom rail. The case is divided into three parts ? on the proper left is a deep drawer faced to simulate two drawers. Within this part are multiple rectangular vertical glue blocks beside the tops of the legs and in the proper right corner. The blocks at the case backs also serve as drawer stops. The bottom of each block at the case?s outside corner is revealed on its underside. A large horizontal block, nailed to the case side at the bottom of the interior, serves in part as a drawer guide. Drawer support strips are glued to the top of the case bottom and small supporting blocks are nailed to the top of the front rail. The proper right case is similarly arranged, but with supports for an additional drawer nailed to the case side and interior partition with brads and an additional horizontal block. The drawer divider is double-tenoned to its interior partition; the tenons are visible through the forward portion of the partition within the central compartment. Three rectangular horizontal glue blocks are in each rear corner. There are three nail heads in the upper portion of the proper left interior partitions, and several nails in the lower portion of the proper right partition. The central and flanking doors are veneered and their cock-beaching is held on by combinations of glue and brads. The drawer fronts meet their slightly shorter, flat-topped, full-depth drawer sides in dovetail joints having narrow necked pins of slightly varying configuration, with large half-pins above. The drawer bottoms, parallel to the front, are chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves, and are nailed with brads to the flat-topped backs. Examined by P.E. Kane, January 17, 2017; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver, sale cat. (January 20, 2017), 108, lot 638, ill.