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ITEM SW01516: A Mahogany Chippendale Serpentine Chest of Drawers,
Portsmouth, NH, c.1800, attributed to Langley Boardman


This is a beautifully shaped serpentine chest with a strong curvilinear form that make it quite a standout especially with the vibrant ribbon-grain mahogany. The top is similarly figured and of solid stock (see below). The brasses are first, dicating this was a well cared for chest.

The line inlay appears at the canted edge drawers and also defines the bracket feet. Its pedegree is certainly that of Langley Boardman, as construction details are the same as shown in the seminal article on Langley Boardman with related chest in SPNEA...(see beow). Note how the underneath of the base appears in comparison to ours. The craftsmanship is superb; even the bootjacks behind the rare feet are mortised into the side of the bracket leg for sturdiness. Boardman was a cabinetmaker’s cabinetmaker.

This piece has it all: form, quality of wood, and maker. The condition is mint, and it is certainly a museum piece that can be lived with and enjoyed.

A related chest is exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago, see below.

Click here for an article about the maker Langley Boardman from Portsmouth Furniture: Masterworks from the New Hampshire Seacoast, SPNEA.

Height: 35 1/2 in. Depth: 23 1/2 in.
Width: 39 3/4 in.

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