Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts


230.5 x 114.3 x 56.51 cm (90 3/4 x 45 x 22 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, chestnut, eastern white pine

On View

Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Gallery (Gallery 132)




Case furniture and boxes

The clothespress-used for storing linens and other textiles in many drawers, including some hidden by the doors of the upper case-was a relatively rare form in American furniture. This is one of a small group made in Boston; each features a closed, deeply curved pediment, derived from Anglo-Dutch furniture. The clothespress was made for Boston merchant Gilbert DeBlois, probably near the time of his marriage to Ann Coffin, in 1749. DeBlois (whose portrait hangs nearby) was a Loyalist who fled to England during the Revolution, leaving his family and property behind. His wife managed to retain or reacquire family possessions, and the clothespress remained in the family until it was acquired by the Museum, in 1987.


By tradition, made in 1749 for the wedding of the Boston merchant Gilbert Deblois (1725-1791) and Ann Coffin; by descent to their daughter, Elizabeth DeBlois (1761-1843); to Charlotte DeBlois (d. 1881); purchased by Mary Atwood in 1881; purchased by Dr. Thomas Amory DeBlois in 1881 for $50; purchased by the Museum from Stephen W. DeBlois, Annisquam, Massachusetts, 1987 (Accession Date April 22, 1987)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Friends of the Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture