AMERICAN CHIPPENDALE WALNUT BLANKET CHEST OF DRAWERS
Pennsylvania c. 1780
Item # 411DXP29A
This finely crafted blanket chest of drawers is distinguished by the open dovetailing of the case, this following from the sides through the feet to accentuate the hand crafted nature of the object. Pennsylvania craftsmen during the late 18th century built these pieces to be family heirlooms that could pass from one generation to the next and the quality of craftsmanship was something they took pride in and openly advertised - while other work centers sought to hide the dovetail, being simply a means of joining one plank to another, clientele in this region expected excellent joinery and examined it as part of the purchase process. As a result, the dovetail became something of an art form, this exercised to it's fullest in the presentation of the case.
The chest retains original brasses, hardware and bracket feet. Drawers are constructed in the typical manner of the region, the poplar secondary woods hand dovetailed in the frame with the two-board bottom half-lapped at the joint, chamfered along the sides and set in grooves, allowing them to expand and contract freely. Iit is possible the middle drawer has a replaced bottom since the two planks are not half-lapped and the end grains show some variation.
Inside of the blanket chest is a sparse interior with a small wooden till on the left. The front of the till lifts to reveal a trio of secret drawers, the middle drawer with an illegible period inscription.
The chest is priced conservatively in light of needed restorations to the breadboard ends.
Measurements: 47 1/2" W x 23" D x 28 7/8" H
Early refinish w/ age appropriate wear; lid with scars/circular stains. Lid warped with breakout of breadboard ends at front corners. Loss at right corner molding, piece retained. Escutcheon replaced. Strap lock not functional. Left strap hinge with loose & missing nails. Patching to till lid and molding; bottom-left drawer corner patched.