On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Large two-stage oak cupboards were the most elaborate pieces of furniture in seventeenth-century New England homes. They were used for storing textiles, silver, and other valued objects. Their scale and ornamental richness bespoke the prosperity and status of their owners. This superlative example was made by an unidentified shop in northern Essex County, noted for its complex joinery and decoration, featuring ebonized turnings that freely interpret classical columns and channel-molded drawer fronts with applied bosses arranged in rhythmic linear patterns across their length.

Cupboard, Oak, maple, yellow poplar, with oak and pine, American

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