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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Culture:American
Title:chest
Date Made:ca. 1720
Type:Furniture
Materials:wood: yellow pine, red maple, basswood, sycamore; base metal: brass; paint
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Hampshire County; Deerfield or Hatfield (possibly)
Measurements:overall: 47 5/8 x 38 x 18 1/2 in.; 120.9675 x 96.52 x 46.99 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2004.28.1
Credit Line:John W. and Christiana G.P. Batdorf Fund
2004-28-1t.jpg

Description:
Rectangular chest with two drawer with brass pulls and four elongated, turned legs, all covered with the original paint. Although its history is unknown, the chest is significant for the original paint decoration of dark brown pigment aplied with broad curving brushstrokes over an ochre ground to approximate the look of exotic veneers. The chest also documents a transition in local furniture making from joinery in the "Hadley" chest tradition (relying on riven oak frame-and-panel construction using mortise and tenon joints), to cabinetmaking (relying on mixed hardwood and pine board construction using dovetails). Departing from customary joinery methods, the upper chest is enclosed by single maple front and back boards tenoned into maple corner posts. The chest's most unusual feature is hidden from view: the drawers feature oversized, experimental rear dovetails that project approximately four inches beyond the backs of the drawers.

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