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Chest with Drawers

1956.135 (RS135367)

Description

White pine chest with drawers, painted red; bottom two drawers joined with wide even dovetails; top drawers are false. The chest's exterior gives the impression of three upper drawers due to escutcheons. Case sides joined to bottom board. Chest has ball feet, heavy base molding

Details

Label
This chest, made around 1730-1750, displays up-to-date construction techniques, while elements such as the ball feet are more archaic. The chest's sides are attached to the bottom by dovetails, replacing the older joinery technique which depended on the use of mortises and tenons. The three drawers in the lower section of the chest also feature dovetails. The handles on the drawers, commonly referred to as “brasses,” were imported from England. Few brass foundries existed in the colonies. The three rows of brasses above the drawers offer the illusion of three more drawers and mimic the more fashionable chests of drawers of the period. Although a twentieth-century coat of red paint now covers the surface of this coastal Massachusetts chest, the original paint beneath that layer was also red, a favorite color for painted furniture and woodwork in New England in the eighteenth century.
Maker
unknown
Date
1730-1750
Material
Norway spruce (wood)
maple (wood)
painting (coating)
Object type
Furniture
Places
Massachusetts (United States)
Descriptive terms
blanket chests
case furniture
CHEST, BLANKET
Maple
maple (wood)
Norway spruce (wood)
Painted
painting (coating)
Pine
Dimensions
41 3/4 x 36 x 18 1/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1956.135
GUSN
45899
Reference Notes
Jobe, Brock and Myrna Kaye. New England Furniture: The Colonial Era. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984.

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