FINE AMERICAN FEDERAL MAHOGANY SIDEBOARD
North Shore, Massachusetts, probably Boston c. 1805-1815
Item # 701LTP28A
A most spectacular piece of early American craftsmanship, this very fine sideboard is closely related in form to works from the North Shore of Massachusetts and the Seymour school. It’s unusual length is particularly noteworthy, measuring a full 92 1/4” from end to end, allowing it to be the most prominent furnishing in the dining room. The choicest of mahogany woods are employed in every aspect of the case, achieving a distinct and consistent contrast between surfaces while utilizing the same species of hardwood. Crotch veneers of a most extraordinary cut are layed out with measured symmetry - the closeness of grain pattern between the right four panels and the left four panels is only achieved by utilizing the same plank to harvest the veneers. Note the natural flow from the upper drawer panels with their blonde flamed grain into the lower drawer panels. The centermost drawer is finished slightly darker to balance the light and dark mahoganies. Clearly executed by a craftsman of superior skill, every aspect of the construction is precise and perfect - crisp dovetailing locks the pine secondary woods into the solid mahogany secondary woods of each drawer, these surrounded by cockbead molding that protects the applied crotch-grain mahogany veneers. The dovetailing is visible in the back corners of the drawers where the pins come to a nearly complete point with no room around the joint. The entire case rests over turned, tapered and reeded legs that raise conforming turrets in the top and terminate in a turned and tapered foot. The turning just beneath the apron of the case is closely related to work tables, card tables, sideboards and sofas executed in the Boston work centers, the vasiform swollen baluster quickly identifiable with the rather individual turnings that appeared in Boston casework after about 1805.
For the collector that demands purity, superior design and exquisite craftsmanship, this is a most fine acquisition.
- The Furniture Masterworks of John and Thomas Seymour, Mussey Jr., 2003, p. 181, 298-99, p. 308-17, 346-47, 366-67 [all examples of upper leg turnings]
- American Tables and Looking Glasses, Barquist, 1992, p. 180-81
- American Furniture: The Federal Period 1788-1825, Montgomery, 1966, 307-08, 333-34, 411-13
Measurements: 92 1/4” W x 37 1/4” H x 29 1/2” D
An exceptional presentation. Old refinish, some surface scratches, losses and blemishes as clearly visible in the detailed images. Some very skilled patching to old splits in veneers. Brasses replaced, locks function beautifully with original keys.