The Classical period introduced many new elements of form and embellishment,
as this new country began to look away from the traditional English patterns
of Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton toward a more universal design. Classicism based on ancient forms was reinterpreted, not only in this
country but also in England and on the Continent. Abandoning the curvilinear style of the Chippendale-Rococo form,
straight lines, pillars, carved paw feet, lyres, etc became the new
This chest is one of very high quality for the period
and produced in New York, one of the few cities that could support a
clientele able to purchase this costly chest. Of note is the gilt edging which greatly defines the grace and
delicacy that modifies a rather square and formidable case form (see detail
and also note the fine carving of the lyre supports). Also, stenciling is used to similar advantage on the drawerfronts and
columns, all of which elements were particularly used in fine New York
This chest is related to a grouping of furniture
with gilt stenciling and a related example can be seen in Classical Taste in America, Wendy Cooper (see
scan below); see also Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Muson-Williams-Proctor
Institute. Further, we have several other pieces of this style (e.g. sw00557).
This chest is in mint condition, which is notable
because many stencils of this period become worn and lost, and gilt at the
edges of the drawers subject to damage through misuse. This chest retains its original wood pulls and obviously was cared
for as something special through the years.
Height: 68 1/2 in. Width: 37 in. Depth:
22 1/8 in.