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Photo: Courtesy The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wis., 1977.4; photo by Gavin Ashworth
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Clothes press

Object number



Maker, probably by Daniel Spencer, 1741–1796


95 1/4 45 21 3/4 in. (241.936 114.3 55.245 cm)



Current location

The Chipstone Foundation


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


Mahogany (primary); cherry, chestnut, and white pine (secondary)


Recovered in a basement in Providence, Rhode Island; John Walton, Inc., Griswold and Jewett City, Connecticut, 1977; sold to Polly Mariner Stone (1898–1995) and Stanley Stone (1896–1987), Fox Point, Wisconsin; bequeathed by Stanley Stone to The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1987

Associated names

John S. Walton, Inc.
Polly Mariner Stone
Stanley Stone


Each case side is made of two long mahogany boards, one very broad and one narrow. The sides are dovetailed to a bottom board of chestnut. The construction of the scrolled pediment top hides the joints of the sides and the top board but in all probability these are made with dovetails. The interior of the clothes press is lined with cherry boards on all surfaces. The interior space extends only to a level a little above the tops of the doors. The back is made of pine and chestnut horizontal boards tongue and grooved together and nailed to rabbets at the rear of the sides. The construction of the pediment is closed. Two vertical chestnut boards extend from behind the pediment, near the rosettes, to extensions of the top backboard in the rear. A horizontal chestnut board extends between these vertical boards and runs from behind the pediment to the back at a level just below the scroll openings. Pine boards nailed just behind the pediment moldings stretch to the back, which is these areas echoes the curved shape of the pediment, and are also nailed to it. This construction creates an inaccessible compartment behind the applied plaques. In each door a broad top rail and a narrow bottom rail are tenoned into long side rails and pegged. These rails frame fielded panels which form the block of the doors in front. The shells are applied, and held in place withi screws from behind; screw holes are plugged. There is no mullion between the doors; what appears to be one is merely an extension of the left door. This construction allows unimpeded access to the interior which is fitted with adjustable shelves. Behind the feet, the vertical blocks do not reach to the floor. The rear feet have chestnut black braces attached to the case bottom which are weight-bearing. Source: Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone, (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 3.


Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 2–3, no. 1, ill.
Brock Jobe, "The Lisle Desk-and-Bookcase: A Rhode Island Icon," American Furniture (2001): 129.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 313n4.