Chest, Possibly William Searle (died 1667), White oak, red oak, American

Chest

Maker:
Possibly William Searle (died 1667)
Maker:
Thomas Dennis (1638–1706)
Date:
1663–80
Geography:
Made in Ipswich, Massachusetts, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
White oak, red oak
Dimensions:
29 3/4 x 49 1/8 x 21 3/8 in. (75.6 x 124.8 x 54.3 cm)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1909
Accession Number:
10.125.685
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 708
The richest and most vigorous early colonial carving is that associated with the work of William Searle (1634–1667) and Thomas Dennis (1638–1706) of Ipswich. Paired leaves, with a naturalistic, three-dimensional quality rare in American furniture of the period, dominate the panels of this chest; the panels are carved in the popular seventeenth-century design of a stalk of flowers and leaves emerging from an urn, of which only the opening is indicated here. Searle and Dennis came from Devonshire, England, where a tradition of florid carving, using many of the motifs seen on this chest, flourished in the early seventeenth century.
H. Eugene Bolles, Boston, until 1909; [Mrs. Russell Sage, New York, 1909]