Chest with drawers, 1675–1700
Oak, pine, cedar
39 5/8 x 48 x 21 1/4 in. (100.6 x 121.9 x 51.1 cm)
Gift of Mrs. J. Woodhull Overton, 1966 (66.190.1)
The upper section of this chest with drawers is constructed using the joiner's frame-and-panel method, whereby solid rectangular panels are slotted into grooves in the frame to form a structural panel. Since no glue or nails are used to secure the wooden panels in the frame, they are free to expand and contract in thickness and in width according to changes in temperature and humidity. The facade is enlivened by a combination of low-relief carving in the form of stylized flowers and plants and applied moldings and turnings that are painted black for visual emphasis. The heavy, rectilinear form and the elaborate, highly compartmentalized surface decoration are typical of the seventeenth-century style.