Design:
Chest on chest in two parts. The upper case has a conforming complex-molded (corona-fillet-ogee-and ovolo) cornice, canted fluted corners, and a row of three short drawers (the center one wider than the sides) above three graduated drawers, all thumb-molded. The lower case has an ovolo waist molding, three graduated, thumb-molded drawers and straight bracket feet with ogee-shaped knee brackets. Each drawer has brass bail handles with circular back plates (one on each short drawer, two on each long) and brass keyhole liners.

Case Construction:
In the upper case, the cornice is nailed to the case sides. Wedge-shaped glue blocks are inserted between the outer edge of the top and the back edge of the cornice (those on the proper right back are missing). The top is a single side-to-side grain orientation board dovetailed to the case sides. A small, wedge-shaped piece of wood is glued to the top of the top near the front. A false, half-depth top is inserted inside the case just above the upper drawers. The drawer blades are joined to full-depth dustboards, half as thick as the blades, inserted into dadoes that run the full depth of the case. The dustboards are formed from two to three, side-to-side grain, boards glued together. Full-depth glue strips or runners are glued on top of the dustboards at the sides; beside these, the side edges of the dustboards are planed down. A series of horizontal glue blocks secure the join of the blades and the dustboards on their undersides. The undersides of the top and the blades are notched at center to receive locks. Veneer facing strips on the front of the case sides and blades conceal the joints. A mahogany vertical partition or divider with a medial support behind it separates the top drawers. Five vertical backboards are nailed (with modern nails) into rabbets on the case top and sides and flush-nailed to the case bottom.

The lower case is dovetailed together. The drawer blades are joined to full-depth dustboards, half as thick as the blades, inserted into dadoes that run the full depth of the case. The dustboards are formed from two to three, side-to-side grain boards glued together. The side edges of the dustboards are planed down. A series of horizontal glue blocks secure the join of the blades and the dustboards on their underside. The undersides of the top and the blades are notched at center to receive locks. Five vertical backboards are nailed into rabbets on the case top and sides and flush-nailed to the case bottom. The case bottom is formed from three boards of side-to-side grain orientation, with those at the front slightly thicker than that at the back. The base molding is glued to the case bottom and reinforced with glue blocks on the front and sides and the sides of the back. The bracket feet are glued to the underside of the molding and have a three-part support consisting of two horizontal glue blocks and a single, vertical glue block. The rear feet are also straight brackets with ogee knees.

Drawer Construction:
All the drawers exhibit dovetailed construction. The drawer bottoms have front-to-back grain orientation (composed of multiple boards on the long drawers), fronts and sides set into rabbets, and a flush-nailed, beveled back edge. They are reinforced along the front and sides with full-length glue strips or runners; on the small drawers of the upper case, the side glue strips are mitered at the rear. On the drawers of the upper case, the undersides of the bottoms have two planed sets of grooves run from back to front, flanking the center.

Date

1750-1785


Geography


Material/Technique

Mahogany, mahogany veneer (primary), oak (drawer sides, backs, and bottoms and case backboards), unidentified softwood (dustboards, glue strips and blocks, case tops and bottoms), brass


Dimensions

Overall (H x W x D): 71 1/2 in. x 46 3/8 in. x 23 1/8 in. (181.61 cm x 117.79 cm x 58.74 cm)


Credit

Purchased by the A. Alfred Taubman Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2004


Object Number

M-4363


Colors


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