High chest of drawers

about 1725–50

Object Place: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 53


Overall: 180.3 x 104.8 x 57.2 cm (71 x 41 1/4 x 22 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut veneer on pine, with maple and dyed wood inlay

Not On View




Case furniture and boxes

Inlay is used to create designs or pictures made of different-colored woods that are set into the surface of a piece of furniture. The bottom central drawer of this chest is ornamented with inlaid fans of alternating dark and light woods. Inlay was fashionable in the early eighteenth century; it fell out of favor when more robust, carved decoration was popular and then regained its status after the Revolution.


A sworn and notarized document dated January 30, 1905, from P.B. Albee of Rutland, Vermont, indicates that the high chest had long been in his family, and that his family had acquired it from General Knox [presumably Henry Knox (1750-1806), of Boston and later ofThomaston, Maine] "in appreciation of services rendered in nursing the general in sickness, which was in addition to payment for services rendered." The high chest was owned by Mr. Albee's father, and then descended to Mr. Albee's brother, and then to Mr. Albee, who sold it in 1905 to Mr. C. M. Blake of Rockland, Maine. It was later acquired by the collector George Nixon Black, who included it in his bequest to the Museum in 1929 (Accession date March 7, 1929)

Credit Line

Bequest of George Nixon Black