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Chest on Chest

ca. 1780
Origin: America, Massachusetts, Boston area
OH:91 3/4" OW:46"; OD:23 7/8"
Mahogany and white pine
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1935-343
Appearance: Upper case--enclosed broken scroll pediment with cove and quarter round cornice and carved rosettes; three spiral finials; top tier consists of fan-carved central drawer flanked by two smaller shaped drawers, all above four graduated full-width drawers; all drawer openings defined with applied cock bead; uppermost points of shaped drawer fronts in top tier are actually part of scroll board; tops of all drawer sides finished with double bead; drawers flanked by pair of fluted pilasters full entablatures, capitals, and bases.

Lower case--front and sides of case are of bombe form; five full-width graduated drawers, lowest three conforming to swelled case form; beading as noted above; shaped central pendant; ogee bracket feet.

Construction: upper case--all elements of mahogany except as noted; scroll board rabbeted and nailed case sides; hood braced by one horizontal and two vertical white pine boards glued into dadoes on scroll board and backboard; white pine roof nailed to backboard, scroll board, and case sides; inner surface of roof randomly lined with sheets of laid writing paper; central plinth back by vertical white pine glue block (4 3/4" high; 1/4" thick plate with molded front and sides glued to top of each plinth; rosettes secured to scroll board with single screw driven from behind; cornice nailed to scroll board and sides. Front case stiles (3" wide) tenoned to scroll board and rabbeted to front edges of case sides; pilasters and entablature glued to stiles and scroll board; waist rail tenoned to stiles; full thickness white pine dust board below top tier is set in dadoes; 3 3/4" deep white pine drawer blades with 1/2" thick mahogany facings are set dadoes into case sides behind front stiles and secured through front with nails; drawer beads glued to blades and front stiles; bead secured to scroll board above each curved drawer with nails; 1" thick top drawer dividers through-dovetailed into scroll board and tenoned into dustboard; white pine drawer supports tenoned into each blade and set into dadoes at sides; white pine drawer guides nailed to runners; three white pine back boards nailed into rabbets; white pine bottom board dovetailed to case sides.

Lower case--white pine top and bottom boards dovetailed to case sides; white pine drawer blades with mahogany facings (as above) dovetailed into case sides, joints remain exposed; bead glued to cased sides and drawer blades; bottom drawer rail tenoned into case sides; white pine drawer supports set into dadoes; waist moldings nailed to case; base molding backed by full-length white pine block glued to front and sides of case bottom; bracket feet mitered at corners and glued to base molding; each bracket backed by a vertically grained white pine block and two horizontal white pine flankers; apron pendant glued to base molding and backed with white pine glue block; rear element of each rear bracket foot recessed 1/2" from back of case and supported on exterior with vertically grained white pine glue blocks; white pine back boards (2) nailed into rabbets as above and reinforced on interior with eight white pine glue blocks.

Drawers--fronts (3/4" thick mahogany), sides (3/8" thick white pine), and backs (1/2" thick white pine) dovetailed together; drawer bottoms beveled on all four sides, slid into grooves and front and sides, and secured at rear with nails (10-15 rose head nails in drawers of upper case, 10-15 square head nails in drawers of lower case); outer surfaces of drawer sides and fronts shaped to follow contour of swelled profile, inner surfaces angled.
Inscription(s):The following appear to date from the 18th or early 19th century: "2 doz", "40408", and "T/L{?}" in brown ink on sheets of laid paper lining inside of hood; "Auh{?}" in pencil on back of second drawer from top, upper case; "1" and "2" in pencil in upper surface of first...