Presented for sale is an 18th century American Chippendale Bonnet-top chest on chest, circa 1760 - 1780. The chest is made of cherry primary woods with white pine secondary woods. It features an enclosed bonnet-top with broken pediment finished in matching finials (the right one made with a reverse spiral), an unusual arched top drawer, and hand-cut inlays. Fluted quarter pilasters terminating in brass capitals flank the drawers in both the top and bottom sections of the chest, and it is raised on shaped ogee bracket slipper feet. The elegant slender proportions of the chest makes it an outstanding example of the pieces that came out of the Connecticut River Valley as well as the Shenandoah Valley in the third quarter of the 18th century.
One of the most notable attributes of this piece is the interesting inlay both on the cornice panels and top drawer. The inlaid pinwheel patterns are likely influenced by the German/Deutsch practice of Frakturs, which later became known as "hex symbols". The lozenge-shaped string inlay on the top drawer is reminiscent of flower petals or seeds and even the fan is atypical. The chest was obviously created by an exceptional cabinetmaker, one who was knowledgeable of the newest Chippendale styles, yet proficient in the art of fine inlay and dovetail joinery. The attention to lines and proportion on this piece is deliberate and the mark of a cabinetmaker who excelled in detail. It was an expensive piece to make, even over 200 years ago and was possibly a commissioned piece for a wealthy landowner.
Drawer bottoms are hand planed. Fluted columns are hand cut. Brass hardware looks to be original, with the exception of the locks in the bottom drawers which appear to be early 20th century. A dozen or more "rose head" hand-cut nails remain in the back and on the drawers.
The chest is in excellent mostly original condition with the following noted: The drawer slides have been replaced, not recently though. There are newer nails on the reverse, alongside the old. There is some evidence of an earlier refinish to the surface but the wood has a lovely aged and even patina.
Additional photos happily provided upon request.
Size: 89" Height (to top of center finial), 39.5" Width (widest point), 20" Depth.
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