High Chest

Collection Type

  • Furniture






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.


Descriptive Terms

high chests of drawers
case furniture
silver maple (wood)
Norway spruce (wood)
silver (metal)
Chest Of Drawers


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.


In chalk on drawers: drawer nos. In pencil on drawers: modern location designations? Label on back: ""Newburyport five cent savings Bank""

Additional Identification Number




Location of Origin

Newbury, Massachusetts, New England


73 1/4 x 38 5/8 x 20 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Estate of Florence Evans Bushee

Accession Number


Reference Notes

Jobe, Brock and Myrna Kaye. New England Furniture: The Colonial Era. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984.


Massachusetts (United States)
Newbury (Essex county, Massachusetts)