American Federal Cupboard or Cabinet, Southern States, Probably Kentucky or Tennessee, Early 19th Century c. 1820-40
Item # 130101QIP27
This is a striking piece in every regard. First and foremost, the sheer perfection found in the tight minimalistic landscape of this undistracted and restrained surface is unrivaled. Everything about the form is harmonious, the crown being distinctly angular and sharp, deep enough to cast a formidable shadow over the case while still remaining a small part of the form as a whole.
The large case is cleanly divided into six parts by a craftsman clearly averse to using graduation in any portion of the piece, using deeply chamfered panels set into rabbets in the through-tenon-mortise joined door frames, these opening easily over replaced brass hinges. Inside is a spacious shelved interior, again spaced at equal intervals with a large space for the bottommost shelf, avoiding the use of graduation. The effect is attractive, resulting in a stoic aesthetic so commonly associated with works of those states.
On both left side doors, a tiny wooden catch is affixed to the inside of the door using a hand forged screw, allowing each of the doors to be locked shut; the opposite door has a small wooden knob external and a forged iron lock interior (absent on the lower door) - the wooden knobs are likely purchased from a different shop or imported, as they appear to be of black walnut and the work of a skilled turner. They are, however, original to the piece and remain affixed with their original screws.
The case is plain and devoid of embellishment, the sides single solid planks that stretch from the crest to the toe, the backboards vertically nailed in tight clean rows along both edges and the bottom. The crest is a separate piece screwed to the top of the case at equal intervals in deep wells. It is very difficult to make a well supported attribution to Tennessee; however, we feel fairly confident this piece originated in either Kentucky or Tennessee. Notwithstanding the general form as one that is well developed and documented in both states, coupled with the sharp projecting crown, the use of a "cherry" stain over Poplar to simulate Cherry can be found in many works of this region. One board inside is yellow pine, every other plank being poplar (blocking under the case not examined).
This is an absolute treasure, a piece that will last many lifetimes if well cared for and preserved. These are exceedingly difficult pieces to find, typically residing in permanent collections, and this piece is a particular treat in it's untouched and well preserved condition.
Measurements: 88" high (84 3/4" w/out crown), 19 7/8" deep (16 7/8" w/out crown), 53 3/8" wide (47 1/2" w/out crown)
Condition Report: Finish appears to be original, heavily worn and with discoloration: note the speckling on the lower section of the cabinet around the sides and front. Light mildew to the backboards. Dings and abrasions, some of these abrasions a bit more noteworthy: edge of crown, a few scrapes to the sides. Patches to lower right door and beneath that door, though this actually appears to be original. Missing lock on lower doors, upper lock is original. Wooden knobs and door catches are original with hand forged original screws. Hinges on doors appear to be replaced, though they are in the original space. No key. Backboards are fully original - modern nails have been added for strength. Screws that affix the crown are all replaced.
Item ID: 130101QIP27
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