Chest of Drawers

Collection Type

  • Furniture

Date

1805-15

GUSN

GUSN-5291

Description

Bow-front; scrolled bracket feet; apron has center inlaid tablet; birch veneered case encloses four equal sized drawers; each has beaded edge, three inlaid flaming birch rectangular panels, two oval brass handles and center ivory keyhole; conforming top has edge inlay.

Details

Descriptive Terms

chests of drawers
case furniture
birch (wood)
veneer
ivory (tooth component)
Hepplewhite
Mahogany
Vegetable Ivory
Birch
Hepplewhite
Inlaid
Chest Of Drawers

Label

"Cherished Possessions": At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, cabinetmakers were producing some of the most ambitious furniture in the region. Many of these pieces were characterized by boldly contrasting and highly figured veneers, like the birch veneer used here. The rounded shape of the front of this chest, referred to today as a bow front and in period records as a round front, was part of the newly popular neoclassical style that began to be adopted in New England in the late eighteenth century.
Highlights of the furniture collection: The use of vibrantly figured veneers in bold geometric patterns is typical of Portsmouth furniture of the early years of the nineteenth century. The drop pendant is also characteristic. This is one of the most ornate surviving examples. It was purchased by James Rundlet, a wealthy merchant whose 1807 home survives with few changes and is one of Historic New England's most intact historic house museums.

Associated Building

Original to Rundlet-May House (Portsmouth, N.H.),

Maker

Unknown

Object Type

Furniture

Dimensions

38 1/8 x 41 3/8 x 21 3/4 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Ralph May

Accession Number

1971.646

Places

New Hampshire (United States)
Portsmouth (Rockingham county, New Hampshire)