High chest of drawers


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 713

A new form introduced with the William and Mary style, the high chest of drawers was a prestigious addition to the early-eighteenth-century home. The scalloped skirt, curved stretchers, and six turned legs on this chest bring lightness and movement to the form. The large, smooth surfaces of the drawer fronts of the upper and lower cases were achieved by abandoning the panel-and-frame tradition in favor of dovetailed-board construction—a technique created by the new craft of cabinetmaking. Dramatic surface decoration, accomplished here by bordering the richly figured walnut-veneered drawer fronts with a herringbone pattern, is characteristic of furniture dating from the 1690s to the 1730s.

High chest of drawers, Black walnut, maple, poplar, hickory, white pine, American

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