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Photo: Courtesy Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York
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Chest of drawers


Object number

RIF6563

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

36 5/8 38 5/8 19 5/8 in. (93 98.1 49.8 cm)

Date

1780–1800

Current location

Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc.

Geography

Possibly made in Rhode Island, or possibly made in eastern Connecticut
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (drawer linings, back board, bottom board; some blocks on feet); yellow poplar (vertical blocks on feet)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"5," possibly "7," "6," and "7," in chalk, on interior backs of drawers from top to bottom; vertical stroke, possibly from a "7," in chalk, on exterior front corners of second drawer from top; "6," in chalk, on exterior proper left corner of third drawer from top; vertical stroke, possibly from a "7," in chalk, on exterior front corners of bottom drawer; "3," in chalk near proper right end of third drawer divider

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

C. W. Lyon, Inc., New York, 1945; sold to Reginald M. Lewis (1895–1960), Easton, Maryland; by descent in his family; sold to Joe Kindig, Jr., and Son, York Pennsylvania, after 1961; sold to a private collector, 1965. Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York, 2018

Associated names

C. W. Lyon, Inc.
Reginald Minturn Lewis
Joe Kindig, Jr. and Son

Construction

The oblong, two-board top is dovetailed to the single-board case sides; kerf marks are visible on the underside?s lateral edges. A single-piece beaded cove molding whose flaring upper extremity forms a three-sided "tray" is fixed to the edge of the top and to the top rail and case sides with wood-filled fasteners and a nail pocket at its proper left rear face. The case back consists of three horizontal half-lapped boards fixed with rosehead and other (later) nails into rabbets in the top and case sides. The case back?s lowest board is notched above the rear-facing brackets of the back feet. Narrow strips of wood fill the gaps between the brackets and the bottom board. The single-board case bottom meets the case sides in dovetail joints having large, thick-necked pins. The front of a narrow board coplanar with the case bottom is the underside of the base, to which a block-fronted gadrooned molding is fixed with rosehead nails. Behind the nose-and-cove base molding, which is fixed to the board below with wood-filled fasteners, are three triangular longitudinal glue blocks. The case?s front stiles are face-nailed with brads to the front edges of the case sides. The top rail and drawer dividers are set into horizontal grooves within the case sides. The horizontal and vertical cockbeading is integral. Tip bars (the proper right one is missing) are fixed to the case sides with rosehead nails; drawer supports (replaced) are screwed in, and vertical drawer stops are fixed to the back of the case sides with rosehead nails. The inside face of the upper drawer-front is flat; the central portion of its outside face is carved with a concave shell. Flanking the concavity are applied convex shells, fixed with screw pockets from within the drawer front and with rosehead nails in chamfered portions of the inside corners of the drawer front?s bottom. The three blockfronted, graduated drawer-fronts below, cut from the solid, are considerably deeper than the frieze-drawer front. They are all kerf-marked, and meet their arch-topped drawer sides in dovetail joints having large, thick-necked pins of varying size and spacing, with half-pins above. The pins? outside faces are slightly shy of the ends of the drawer fronts. The drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts, where they are set into grooves. They are chamfered at the front and sides, and fit into grooves in both. The drawer sides, probably originally full-height, are now fitted with runners. The frieze-drawer sides are now nailed with brads into the sides of their drawer bottoms. The feet consist of shaped horizontal blocks (some replaced) now screwed into the case bottom. The horizontal blocks of the proper left rear foot and the front feet are butt-jointed above shaped vertical blocks; the horizontal blocks of the proper right foot are butt-jointed to the vertical block. All the horizontal blocks are screwed and glued into the case bottom except those in the proper left rear corner, which are glued and nailed. The front feet are faced with ogee brackets, the front ones convex-blocked. The rear feet?s back brackets are simple straight-profiled trapezoidal boards; the back edges of their side-facing brackets are flush with the case back. Examined by P.E. Kane, August 27, 2018; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Bibliography

"Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 186, no. 1 (January–February 2019): 1, ill.
"C. W. Lyon, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 47, no. 6 (June 1945): 305, ill.
Joseph Downs, "The Furniture of Goddard and Townsend," Antiques 52, no. 6 (December 1947): 429, fig. 6.
Joseph Downs, American Furniture: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods in the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum (New York: MacMillan Company, 1952), no. 170.
Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., Gallery Catalogue (New York: Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., 1974–2020), vol. 16, pp. 12–13, ill.