AMERICAN CLASSICAL MINIATURE CHEST OF DRAWERS W/ TWISTED COLUMNS, New England c. 1830-40
Item # 130105RQY17
A fine American Classical salesman’s sample, the chest is crafted with fine attention to detail as an example of what could be expected by a customer of a full size piece. The top is rectangular in form, projecting over the front and sides with tight turrets at the corners over spiral-turned columns - these complex formations transition from a series of tight ring turnings into the spiral balusters over tiny urns and completed with a series of complex ring turnings over cork feet. The columns define the chest, greatly elevating the form with tasteful embellishment that does not distract from the overall composition. The graduated two over three drawers retain their original rosewood knobs, these flanking the inverted tear-drop escutcheons and framed as a whole in the rectangular stringer inlays.
Dovetail construction dominates the chest, through dovetails securing the sides of the case to the bottom and presumably to the interior framing upon which the top is set. The back board is deeply chamfered to slide into grooves in the sides and is secured with glued blocks inside the case and tacks along the lower edge. The drawers are dovetailed front and back, the bottom board on four of the five with mitered edges to slide into rabbeted drawer sides: one of the tiny drawers varies in construction from the other four. The bottom board is chamfered along the edges, sliding into in the drawer sides.
The finish is very early and possibly original under later wax. It is a most fine miniature chest that remains in excellent condition.
Materials: Mahogany (top, sides, drawer fronts, drawer secondaries, columns); mahogany veneers (stile facings on right and left of drawers and drawer blades); white pine secondaries (back, bottom, interior blocking); rosewood (knobs); unidentified stringer inlays (appear to be holly or satinwood)
Measurements: 13 9/16" wide [at turrets] x 8 1/16" deep x 11 1/4" high
Condition Report: Early finish, possibly original; somewhat overcleaned (variation in drawer surfaces). Age appropriate surface wear/abrasions. Drawers a tight fit from shrinkage. Original rosewood knobs. No key. Bottom drawer lock absent, void filled. Stringer inlay loss to some drawers, inlay replaced on right/left edges of bottom drawer. Left column just slightly loose, veneer crack along left side. A few missing blocks to interior. Missing molding on bottom left edge, base molding on right side possibly replaced. Sliver of replaced wood w/ 3 brads to back.