Chest-on-chest

about 1797–1800
Carving attributed to Samuel McIntire (American, 1757–1811)


Object Place: Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 42

Dimensions

Overall: 231.1 x 110.5 x 58.4 cm (91 x 43 1/2 x 23 in.)

Accession Number

50.2441

Medium or Technique

Mahogany, mahogany veneer, pine

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Case furniture and boxes

This ten-drawer chest-on-chest is faced with mahogany veneer taken from successive flitches of matching grain. The lower case is serpentine and the molding of the base is carved with flattened and opposing C-scrolls. There is a central drop of acanthus leaves with a blank cartouche, the ground of which is hatched, and the ogee bracket feet are carved with C-scrolls and acanthus against a star-punched ground. There is a simple transition molding to the upper straight-front case, and all the drawers have beaded edges. The upper drawer of the top is false, and above it is a band of molding and a medallion carved with a basket of fruit against a hatched ground, flanked by festoons of drapery. The cornice is composed of an architrave with a cove molding and a band of dentils, above which is a scroll top with carved floral rosettes and a central panel carved with a festoon of drapery.

The secondary wood is pine. The serpetine drawer fronts are laminated mahogany with mahogany veneer. The straight drawer fronts are of solid mahogany, also with mahogany veneer.

The ends of the scrolls and the rosettes are replacements carried out in 1950, and the brasses are also replacements, following the original scheme.

Inscription

Numerous numbers in chalk and graphite throughout. On bottom of the top drawer of the lower case, "Top 1" in graphite. In chalk on the outide of the back: "So Vanning [?]"

Provenance

This piece was acquired in Florence, where it had been taken in 1875 by Miss Mary Greely Loring (1831-1913). Miss Loring's grandparents, Col. Israel and Anna Thorndike, lived in Beverly, until they removed to Boston about 1810, and it is thought that the double chest was inherited from them. To MFA, June 1950, purchased from F. Gordon Morrill, Florence (dealer) for $2,422.51.

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund