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This listing is for a Hepplewhite Bowfront Chest of Drawers of the George III/Federal Period (depending on origin), crafted in New England or England, circa 1790-1810. The top is a fine single solid board of bleached mahogany, bow in form along the front, with fine grains framed in an edge of banded veneer flanked by satinwood stringer inlays. It slides on dovetails along the top of the case, allowing it to shrink and expand without threatening to split the single solid board top; the top is also nailed for stability beneath round wooden pegs, some of the nails broken over time.
The face of the case features four graduated bowed drawers, each hand dovetailed beneath the applied cockbead molding framing each drawer. The drawers are constructed with pine secondary woods, each carefully preserved with some rebuilding to ensure full functionality, including a strip added at the back of each drawer to compensate for shrinking across the grains and replaced runner dovetails. They feature replaced brass knob hardware, each glowing and in flawless condition. An original lock is still secured in all but the top drawer. The face of each drawer is built up using pine secondaries beneath the mahogany veneers for a light and easily flowing drawer.
The case sides are dovetailed at the bottom, forming a perfect square of the solid mahogany sides. The back boards are secured to the back of the case with original rose head nails, coupled with many modern nails to tighten the back to the case. The chest rests over intensely flared french feet on splayed toes, each entirely original with all interior blocking entirely original and only one slight replacement with the rear right foot support.
This is an absolutely gorgeous chest of drawers, using soft bleached mahogany to it's fullest to create a warm and glowing design. With tight and clean lines that are clearly broken with the intense flare of the feet and smooth curving apron, it brings life to any formal setting. Crafted ingeniously and in simply outstanding condition, this chest of drawers is still young and with care will last many generations in your family. It can be comfortably used in formal settings as well as bedroom designs.
Discussion of Origin:
Despite the significant use of pine in the piece, we are hesitant to note this as being an American piece, as the design is close to peers in the States and the Continent alike. We would leave attribution of origin to the buyer, but a few noteworthy construction aspects lead us to believe it is American. Firstly, the way the sides of the case rabbet the top with a sliding dovetail is typically an American technique, though there have been English counterparts. Moreover, English chests of this design regularly feature full dust boards to protect the contents of the drawer below from dust and dirt as the drawer slides in and out - in American pieces, dust boards are frequently absent, settling instead for just a cross bar and runners, as is the case in this chest. Lastly, the lack of oak in the secondary woods, the only exception being the interior blocks of the feet would hint at an American origin - however, most New England examples do not use oak in the feet blocking; this is regularly found in English pieces.
42 5/8" wide x 22 1/2" deep x 37 1/4" high
Antique Dressers & Vanities