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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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High chest of drawers, lower case only

Object number



Maker Unknown


36 1/2 × 40 1/4 × 20 in. (92.71 × 102.24 × 50.8 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Maple (primary); chestnut (back board, drawer supports, blocks, drawer linings); yellow poplar (drawer running strips)




"Jonathan [mathews?] and J," in graphite, on exterior of back board; double loop, in graphite, on interior back of proper right drawer; "V," in graphite, on interior of most drawer fronts, sides, and backs; one also has a "3," in graphite; "2," in chalk, on interior of proper left case side


Possibly Nelson Miller (1754–1840), Warren and Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to his son James Miller (1795–1846), Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to his son Augustus Nelson Miller (1816–1901), Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to his daughter Mrs. Fielding Lewis Williams (née Abby Louisa Miller, 1842–1927), Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to her daughter Mrs. William Frederick Williams (née Mildred Lewis Williams, 1867–1928), Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to her husband Dr. William Frederick Williams (1859–1931), Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to his son William Frederick Williams, Jr. (1896–1959), Bristol and Providence, Rhode Island; by descent in his family

Associated names

Nelson Miller
James Miller
Augustus Nelson Miller
Abby Louisa Miller Williams
Mildred Lewis Williams Williams
Dr. William Frederick Williams
William Frederick Williams, Jr.


The (later) rectangular top is fixed to the case by screw pockets in the outside face of the case back and the inside faces of the case sides. The single-board, flat-arch-skirted case sides are tenoned and wood-pinned to the integral square posts atop the cabriole legs, as are the horizontal drawer divider and flat-arched skirt board. The vertical drawer dividers are dovetailed to the horizontal drawer divider above and the skirt board below. Drawer supports for the upper long drawer and the outer small drawers are fixed with rosehead nails to horizontal blocking between the tops of the legs. There are two medial supports for the lower small drawers. The lipped, thumb-molded, slightly kerf-marked drawer fronts meet their slightly shorter, flat-topped drawer sides in dovetail joints having thick-necked pins with half-pins above. The single-board upper drawer bottom is parallel to the front; the lower drawer bottoms are perpendicular to the fronts and slightly chamfered at the sides where they are fitted with runners nailed with brads. The bottoms are also nailed with brads to the drawer backs. The cabriole legs have angular outset knees and chamfered ankles, ending in feet with flaring pads. The heels of the feet are chamfered and incised. The tops of the rear legs do not project beyond the plane of the backboard. Examined by P.E. Kane and E. Litke, July 20, 2017; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.