High chest of drawers

About 1730–40


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 51

Dimensions

Overall: 182.2 x 108.9 x 62.9 cm (71 3/4 x 42 7/8 x 24 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

32.227

Medium or Technique

Japanned butternut, maple, white pine

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Case furniture and boxes

“Japanned” decoration is a greatly simplified imitation of Asian lacquer work. In colonial America, the production of Japanned furniture was largely, if not exclusively, limited to Boston, where at least ten japanners worked before 1750. Several design characteristics link this example to two of these craftsmen, William Randall and Robert Davis. These include the large figures and animals (note the dog on the third long drawer), the oversized floral ornament (on the center of the second long drawer), long-necked birds resembling cranes (on the first and second long drawers and the skirt), and isolated, rather than integrated, groups of motifs.

Inscription

On the top of the lower case, in pencil: "Nov. 13-1860"

Provenance

By 1928, Charles Hitchcock Tyler (b. 1863 - d. 1931), Boston; 1932, bequest of Charles Hitchcock Tyler to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 1, 1932)

Credit Line

Bequest of Charles Hitchcock Tyler