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Photo: Courtesy Newport Historical Society, R.I., inv. no. 59.1.6; photo by Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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Chest of drawers


Object number

RIF5967

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

31 41 5/8 20 5/8 in. (78.74 105.73 52.39 cm)

Date

1780–1800

Current location

Newport Historical Society

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); mahogany (block at interior front of case); yellow poplar (drawer linings, runners for top drawer, drawer supports for upper and middle drawers, vertical blocks on feet, and drawer stops); cedar or pine (drawer runners for middle and lower drawer and drawer supports for lower drawer); chestnut (drawer divider backings, bottom and backboards of case, rear foot brackets, and horizontal blocks on feet)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Illegible letter [probably “A”], in graphite, on interior back of upper drawer; Illegible letter [probably “B”], in graphite, on interior back of middle drawer; “C,” in graphite, on interior back of lower drawer

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Ruth B. Franklin (1905–1988), Coventry, Rhode Island, and Tucson, Arizona ; given to the Newport Historical Society, Rhode Island, 1959

Associated names

Ruth B. Franklin

Construction

The oblong, single-board top has thumb-molded front and side edges. It has a reverse-serpentine front and joins its conformingly shaped case by dovetail keyways on its underside which secure it to the top of the single-board case sides. These case sides are also dovetailed to the two-board case bottom. The case back consists of the two horizontal half-lapped boards fixed with rosehead nails into rabbets in the case sides and directly to the case bottom. The case lacks top and bottom rails. The drawer dividers are half-blind dovetailed to the case sides. Behind them are deeply worn drawer supports nailed with brads to the case sides and interspersed with vertical drawer stops. The front base molding is secured to the case bottom by brads through its outside face and by a giant dovetail joint. At the sides the base molding is also nailed with brads. The single-board, cock-beaded, kerf-marked drawer fronts meet their arched-top drawer sides in dovetail joints with small, finely cut, narrow-necked pins. There are half-pins above and large half-pins with deep rabbets below. Within the drawer sides are faint scribe lines. The single-board, full-width drawer bottoms, parallel to the front, are set into grooves in the case front and chamfered at the sides, where they are secured to the drawer sides under runners. The drawer bottoms are nailed with brads to the drawer backs above. The top of the drawer side is flattened at the back to align with the top of the drawer back. This corner is also chamfered slightly. The feet consist of rectangular vertical blocks flanked by horizontal shaped blocks attached directly to the case bottom, the whole faced with ogee bracket feet. The rear feet are configured similarly, except for the back faces, which are simple straight serpentine brackets. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, March 26, 2014; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.