Chippendale 20th Century Benchmade Shell Carved Block Front Chest of Drawers over Ball and Claw Feet, after Massachusetts examples of Newport.
This is an absolutely stunning work of art with attention shown in every detail of the case. The entire case is solid mahogany, with carefully selected grains that produce a glowing fire throughout. The rim is ruled around the front and sides over a top drawer with a gallery of three carved shells over the blocked encasements below. The two outmost shells are convex, carved out of solid mahogany, each flanking the concave central shell with a keyhole in the middle. The drawer has an incredible thick facade and, uniquely, no hardware - the key is meant to act as the pull hardware, the craftsman not wanting to distract from the shell carvings by adding hardware. The three following drawers feature incredible blocking over shaped molding that flows with the outline of the chest. Each drawer is hand dovetailed at the front and back, the top drawer having a single solid board bottom, each other drawer being two board construction. The case rests over incredible hand carved ball and claw feet, each flawlessly formed with detail in every joint, muscle and stretched nail. The back two feet are carved only in the front, much in the nature of the period chests, where an absence of any mechanical device meant everything was crafted by hand - the craftsman would regularly look for ways to reduce finishing work without detracting from the overall result of the case, as our craftsman did in this chest by leaving the back of the back feet unformed.
This is one of the most precise and beautiful block front reproductions we've come across. An original block front is unattainable by all but the most affluent of collectors; this is the closest most of America will get to the real block front, with attention shown in every detail throughout. It is hand crafted and will surely be treasured in your family for many generations to come.
42" wide x 20" deep x 36 1/2" high
Visually Outstanding Condition
Top is very slightly loose, more at the front - just be careful not to lift by the top of the chest (case pieces should never be lifted by their top anyhow, but especially when there is looseness); it is still 100% stable and functional, but worth noting. Minor scratches and nicks here and there throughout, all noteworthy dings in the pictures below. Some chipping and loss to top of top drawer above keyhole. Original key, original hardware and original locks. Structurally flawless.
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Antique Dressers & Vanities