High chest of drawers
Attributed to John Townsend (American, 1733–1809)
Object Place: Newport, Rhode Island
Eighteenth-century American Arts No. 32
221.61 x 99.06 x 51.75 cm (87 1/4 x 39 x 20 3/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Mahogany, white pine
Marilyn and John F. Keane Family Gallery (Gallery 127)
The extraordinary carving of shell, knee, and foot; the drawer arrangement; and the construction details firmly link this chest to the shop of John Townsend, who was just beginning a long career that established him as one of Newport’s most celebrated furniture makers. Mahogany high chests were the most expensive form in a furniture maker’s repertoire. A subtle feature is the carefully chosen pattern of mahogany grain that zigzags across the drawer fronts.
Purchased, probably from Adele Nicolay, niece of Miss Potter of Kingston, Rhode Island, for the "M. & M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts"
The M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts