Chest of Drawers

Collection Type

  • Furniture

Date

1670-1700

GUSN

GUSN-51322

Description

Chest of drawers. Oak, black walnut, American red cedar, maple, chestnut, with white pine secondary wood and possibly cedrela. Coved cornice attached to edges of top. Composed of upper and lower cases. Joined case with two-panel sides. Drawer fronts composed of boards with applied moldings. H-shaped geometric molding on second-to-top drawers. X-shaped geometric molding on bottom two tiers of drawers. Case rests on ball front feet with worn pads.

Details

Descriptive Terms

chests-on-chests
case furniture
oak (wood)
black walnut (wood)
red cedar (wood)
maple (wood)
chestnut (wood)
eastern white pine (wood)
Chest Of Drawers

Label

"Cherished Possessions": This chest of drawers belonged to the Pierce family of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and is listed in John Pierce's probate inventory of 1744 as "a chest of drawers in the West Chamber," valued at £2. The Pierces may have purchased this chest as early as 1670, when chests of this sort first appeared in Boston, Massachusetts.
These chests were usually used to store expensive textiles. In a formal room downstairs, they would contain napkins, tablecovers, slipcovers, curtains, and the like; in a bedchamber, they were used to hold clothing and bedding.
Highlights of the furniture collection: The Pierce family of Dorchester, Massachusetts, may have purchased this chest of drawers as early as 1670, when chests of this sort first appeared in Boston, Massachusetts. It is listed in John Pierce's probate inventory of 1744 as "a chest of drawers in the West Chamber," valued at 2 pounds.

Maker

Attributed to Mason, Messenger and Edsall (Maker)
Attributed to Mason, Ralph, 1599-1678/79
Attributed to Messenger, Henry, d. 1681
Attributed to Edsall, Thomas, 1588-1676

Object Type

Furniture

Dimensions

37 1/2 x 39 1/2 x 23 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds provided by an anonymous gift.

Accession Number

1987.34

Places

Massachusetts (United States)
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)