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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.
chests of drawers
Norway spruce (wood)
Chest Of Drawers
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.
Used at Barrett House (New Ipswich, N.H.),
Attributed to Metcalf, Luther, 1756-1838 (Maker)
Medway, MA, USA
30 7/8 x 40 1/4 x 21 5/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Bequest of Caroline Barr Wade
Massachusetts (United States)