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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
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Maker(s):Clay, Daniel
Culture:American (1770-1848)
Title:chest of drawers
Date Made:1794-1800
Materials:wood: cherry, white pine, basswood; base metal: brass
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Greenfield
Measurements:overall: 34 in x 41 1/2 in x 19 3/4 in; 86.36 cm x 105.41 cm x 50.165 cm
Accession Number:  HD 76.012
Credit Line:Gift of Mr. & Mrs. William H. Murdoch, Jr.

Reverse serpentine, or oxbow, chest of drawers in cherry, made by Daniel Clay (1770-1848). Born in New London, Conn., Clay probably trained in the Hartford area with a cabinetmaker familiar with New York fashions; he moved to Greenfield, Massachusetts sometime before Nov. 1794, marrying Lucinda Smead in 1795. In 1794, he advertised in the "Greenfield Gazette" and had a paper label printed that appears on this chest: "CABINET WORK / DANIEL CLAY, / AT HIS SHOP IN GREENFIELD, /MAKES all kinds of Cabinet and Shop Join-/ery Work, and constantly/ keeps an assortment on hand/ which he will sell on reasonable/ terms, for Cash, all kinds of/ Country Produce & Lumber,/ or approved Credit. Every/ favour will be duly acknowl-/edged, by their humble ser-/vant,/ Daniel Clay./ November 4, 1794." He also made or sold Windsors and fancy chairs, pembroke, dressing, and card tables, clock cases, candlestands, and coffins. He expanded his business to include other ventures, but eventually all failed and he moved to NYC in 1832 to become a druggist. The chest has a conforming reverse-serpentine molded top; over four graduated drawers with the original brass bail pulls; fluted corner quarter columns; molded base and gadrooned skirt (suggesting the New York influence); and four ogee bracket feet. Inside of third drawer front and the inside of the bottom drawer front are cherry.

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