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Photo: Courtesy Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York
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Dressing table

Object number



Maker Nicholas Easton, 1752–1825


32 36 1/2 21 in. (81.3 92.7 53.3 cm)



Current location


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (blocks under top); yellow poplar (drawer linings, drawer dividers, drawer supports and guides, blocks between skirt and front legs); red cedar (vertical blocks on legs and block behind shell, by microanalysis)


"Nicholas Easton Au["u" inserted, superscript]gust 28th["th" superscript] 1771," in ink, on interior bottom middle drawer)




Butterfields, San Francisco, 1980s; sold to Bernard and S. Dean Levy, New York; sold to private collection. Bernard and S. Dean Levy, New York, 2018

Associated names

Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc.


The single-board oblong top is molded at its front and side edges, and overhangs its backboard. Below this overhang is a longitudinal triangular block, fixed with a variety of nails to the case back. A large, single-piece molding beneath the top?s side and front overhangs is fixed to the case front and sides with nails and wood-filled fasteners. The two-board case back meets the single-board, scallop-skirted case sides in dovetail joints having finely cut, narrow-necked pins of slightly varying configuration, with half-pins below. The top appears to be attached to the case by means of full-depth lateral blocks fixed with rosehead nails to the underside of the top and set into grooves in the case back and front. Large rectilinear glue blocks accompany these lateral blocks. A medial batten set into the case back and fixed with nails to the underside of the top is also accompanied by large rectilinear glue blocks, as is the joint between the top and backboard. The joints between the case sides and the front stiles are covered by vertical strips. Nails and wood-filled fasteners in these strips indicate possible later reinforcements in the concealed joints between the stiles and the case?s top rail, drawer dividers, and the scalloped, shell-carved skirt board. There are wood pins in the upper corners of the skirt board ? two on the proper right and one on the proper left ? joining it to the drawer divider within. A large rectilinear longitudinal glue block sits at the joint between this drawer divider and the skirt board, which is prominently scribe-lined. Drawer supports for the two long drawers are half-lapped to the drawer dividers in front and set into grooves in the backboard. Drawer guides (probably later) are glued to the top of the supports and nailed into the case sides. Small rectilinear glue blocks at the intersections of the case sides and the front stiles sit atop the drawer supports. Supports for the small drawer are set into grooves in the skirt board and the back board; the latter are laid out with scribe lines. Small-drawer guides are half-blind dovetailed to the skirt board and set into grooves in the back board. The legs are of the "detachable" sort, having rectangular upper sections held into the corners of the case with vertical blocks ? some glued, some fixed with later screws within the case, and, in the case of the rear legs, through the backboard. The upper, full-width drawers have lipped, kerf-marked, thumb-molded fronts which meet their slightly shorter, scribe-marked, arch-topped sides in dovetail joints having narrow-necked pins with half-pins above and below. The drawer bottoms, parallel to the fronts, are chamfered at the full-height sides, where they fit into grooves and are accompanied by full-depth runners. The ends of the drawer backs? top are rounded to align with the tops of the drawer sides. The small drawers are similarly constructed except for their drawer fronts, which have rabbets at the bottom into which full-width single-board bottoms, perpendicular to the fronts, are nailed with brads. The bottoms are also nailed to the sides and backs. The cabriole legs have angular knees and rounded ankles and slightly offset pad feet with prominent, slightly flaring "shoes". Examined by P.E. Kane, August 27, 2018; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., Gallery Catalogue (New York: Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., 1974–2020), vol. 16, p. 8, ill.