1952.0255 Chest, High Chest
  • 1952.0255 Chest, High Chest
  • Enlarge


Chest of drawers (High chest)

  • Category:


  • Place of Origin:

    Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, New England, United States, North America

  • Date:


  • Materials:

    Maple, soft; Ash; Pine, white; Tulip poplar

  • Museum Object Number:


  • Complete Details

Object Number


Object Name

Chest of drawers (High chest)



Credit Line/Donor

Gift of Henry Francis du Pont

Place of Origin

Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, New England, United States, North America



Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Inscription; on left side of bottom drawer in upper case; written(in white chalk: "Nat___", and on outside back of second drawer from bottom in upper case: a number; heavy scribe marks on the bottom of the upper case: "IIII [crossed over] I".


Maple, soft; Ash; Pine, white; Tulip poplar

Dimensions (inches)

69.375 (H) , 40.5 (W) , 22.675 (D)

Dimensions (centimeters)

176.213 (H) , 102.87 (W) , 57.595 (D)

Measurement Notes

OW is at cornice; OD is at feet. W (upper case) 35.125 in. (89.2 cm); W (lower case) 37 in. (94.0 cm); W (feet) 39 in. (99.1 cm); D (upper case) 19.5 in. (49.5 cm); D (lower case) 20.25 in. (51.4 cm)

Object Description

Web - 01/23/2019

Flat-top, straight-front, japanned high chest of drawers on cabriole legs with pad feet made in two sections. The upper case has a projecting cornice above a wide coved molding. The molding on the front forms a blind, shallow drawer. Below are two short drawers over three long graduated drawers. The drawers are flush with the case. Double-bead molding is applied to the case. Shallow ogee molding is applied at front and side edges of the bottom of the upper case. The lower case has projecting waist molding applied to front and sides. Its two-tiered five-drawer arrangement has two shallow drawers above, and two deep drawers flanking a central shallow drawer below. The front skirt has a large central arch flanked by stepped flat arches with pendant drops between. The side skirts are shaped with an ogee arch. Both the front and side skirts are finished with an applied bead. The lower case has slender cabriole legs with plain, creased knees terminating in cushioned pad feet with raised center ribs on disks. Front and side knee brackets are glued over the skirts. The entire surface of the piece is japanned in black and red in imitation of tortoiseshell and features chinoiserie scenes, figures, animals, and birds in gesso and gilt. The five drawers of the upper case are fitted with locks and elaborate engraved brass keyhole surrounds. The drawers of the upper and lower cases are fitted with engraved brasses with oval bail handles.

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Book] Richards, Nancy E. & Evans, Nancy Goyne. 1997 New England Furniture at Winterthur: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods.
Published: cat. no. 159, pp. 304-306.
[Book] Downs, Joseph & du Pont, Henry Francis. 1952 American Furniture: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods, in the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum.
Published: fig. 187;
[Article] Evans, Nancy Goyne. 2008 The Written Evidence of Furniture Repairs and Alterations: How Original Is "All Original?". American Furniture.

[Thesis] Perry, Alyce L. 2009 Always prepared: The materials and techniques of Boston japanners, 1700-1775. M.A. University of Delaware American Studies