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Chest of Drawers

1955.429 (RS81006)

Description

Chest of drawers. Mahogany with white pine secondary wood. Serpentine drawer front with ogee molded top that conforms to the shape of the case. Four graduated drawers. Rests on ogee bracket feet, universal type; original brass bail pulls; original steel locks in upper three drawers. Bottom drawer never had a lock.

Details

Label
In American furniture, formal details such as serpentine and oxbow-facades and bracket feet are markers of what is known by furniture specialists as the Chippendale style. The delicate bracket feet of this example are unusual, and relate to a similar chest thought to have been made by the cabinetmaker Luther Metcalf of Medway, Massachusetts. Metcalf's apprenticeship was interrupted by the Revolution and not completed until 1780. He went on to become a prominent cabinet and chair maker who employed and trained many craftsmen. This chest may have been produced by Metcalf or by a craftsman whom he trained. Probably constructed between the years 1790 and 1810, this chest demonstrates the persistence of Chippendale design in a period when a new style was becoming popular. The delicateness and restraint of the chest reflect the influence of the lighter-proportioned Federal design that came into fashion in the late eighteenth century.
Maker
Attributed to Metcalf, Luther, 1756-1838 (Maker)
Date
1790-1810
Location of origin
Medway, MA, USA
Associated Building
Used at Barrett House (New Ipswich, N.H.).
Material
Norway spruce (wood)
mahogany (wood)
pine (wood)
Object type
Furniture
Places
Massachusetts (United States)
Descriptive terms
case furniture
Chest Of Drawers
chests of drawers
Chippendale
Mahogany
mahogany (wood)
Norway spruce (wood)
Pine
pine (wood)
Dimensions
30 7/8 x 40 1/4 x 21 5/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1955.429
Credit Line
Bequest of Caroline Barr Wade
GUSN
63433

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