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Maker(s):Carter, Jacob (attributed to)
Culture:American (1796-1886)
Title:chest of drawers
Date Made:circa 1820
Type:Furniture
Materials:wood: white pine; paint; metal: brass
Place Made:United States, Massachusetts, probably Belchertown
Measurements:overall: h: 43 1/2 w: 40 1/2 d: 18 3/8 in.
Accession Number:  HD 2010.12
Credit Line:John W. & Christiana G.P. Batdorf Fund
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
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Description:
Four-drawer chest with turned legs, original hardware and grain-painted decoration. Auctioneer Paul Gorzocoski III provided written documentation: "This chest came directly from the estate of John Bitzer on Hatchery Rd., Montague, Massachusetts. It is believed to have been in that house since it was new (the chest). The house itself was built sometime around the 1770s. The last Bitzer member to reside at the house was John Bitzer, a batchelor, who had lived in basically two rooms of the house since the passing of his parents (sometime in the 1960s)." Two boards separated by a space are dovetailed to the sides and the top is nailed from above to these boards and the sides. The bottom is dovetailed to the sides. Three vertically-oriented boards form the back; the outer boards are lapped to the center board and are secured with single nails driven through their outer upper and lower corners (to allow for expansion/contraction of the wood across the grain). The center board is nailed through all four corners. The drawer dividers are dovetailed to the case; the drawer supports and stops are nailed to the sides. The blocked upper ends of the turned legs are nailed to the case bottom from above; the cut-out skirts are glued to the bottom and the joints are reinforced with rectangular glue blocks glued to the case and the legs. The oval center drop is accidently offset from the center by 1 inch. The drawers are not graduated; their backs and fronts are dovetailed to the sides. The chamfered side and front edges of the bottoms are inserted into grooves in the sides and fronts and are nailed flush to the backs. The profile of the skirt relates to bureaus made by Athol, MA cabinetmaker, Alden Spooner (1784-1877), specifically to a bureau that Jacob Carter (1796-1886), an apprentice to Spooner, made and signed in pencil on the center backboard (0422) at the end of his training in 1816, before he moved to Belchertown, Massachusetts. Its skirt design and grainted-painted decoration also relates to a veneered bureau that he and his business partner, Moses Young (b. 1793), made between 1817 and 1822 in Belchertown, and branded "J. Carter and M. Young, Belcher" on the backboard (the partnership lasted from 1817 to 1822). For an illustration of this branded bureau, see ad for Williams Antique Shop, The Magazine Antiques, Dec., 1966, p. 787.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2010.12

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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