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High Chest

1976.256 (RS136504)

Description

High chest. Soft maple with white pine secondary wood. Flared, flat-top cornice. Shaped skirt with drops. Fan-carved lower drawer; terminates in cabriole legs and pad feet.

Details

Label
The interior of this high chest, produced in Newbury, Massachusetts, around the years 1755-1780, reveals clues to its origin. Just as furniture historians use exterior elements such as feet, moldings, and carving to identify the work of a regional cabinetmaker, interior construction can provide equally revealing evidence. Outwardly, this chest displays standard elements of New England Queen Anne and Chippendale high chests including its five upper tiers of drawers, the four drawers and shell carving on its lower case, and its flat-headed skirt with urn drops. However, on the inside of the case, regional eccentricities link it to other furniture produced by a cabinetmaker in Newbury. They include the full dust board (the wooden panel that divides drawers) of pine faced with maple between the second and third drawers from the top, and the sides of the lower case, composed of two boards rather than the standard one. A high chest in the Historical Society of Old Newbury displays the same marked characteristics, and furniture historians believe it shares the same maker as this example.
Maker
unknown
Date
1755-1780
Inscriptions
In chalk on drawers: drawer nos. In pencil on drawers: modern location designations? Label on back: ""Newburyport five cent savings Bank""
Location of origin
Newbury, Massachusetts, New England
Material
Norway spruce (wood)
silver (metal)
silver maple (wood)
Object type
Furniture
Places
Massachusetts (United States)
Newbury (Essex county, Massachusetts)
Descriptive terms
case furniture
Chest Of Drawers
high chests of drawers
Norway spruce (wood)
silver (metal)
silver maple (wood)
Dimensions
73 1/4 x 38 5/8 x 20 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1976.256
Credit Line
Estate of Florence Evans Bushee
GUSN
41560
Reference Notes
Jobe, Brock and Myrna Kaye. New England Furniture: The Colonial Era. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984.

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