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Maker(s):Mather, William (attributed to)
Culture:American (1766-1835)
Title:high chest
Date Made:circa 1795
Type:Furniture
Materials:wood: cherry; base metal: brass
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Whately
Measurements:Overall: 92 1/2 in x 40 1/2 in x 22 1/4 in; 235 cm x 102.9 cm x 56.5 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2019.5
Credit Line:Hall and Kate Peterson Fund for Minor Antiques
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
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Description:
Queen Anne shell-carved bonnet-top high chest with fluted columns on each side of top section with rectangular tops and bottoms leading to pulvinated capitals. A single urn-and-flame finial sits at the top center of the cornice. Small shells are carved at the top and at the center of the shaped skirt. Two shell-carved drawers are at the center of the top and bottom sections, all on four cabriole legs with pad feet. William Mather was born in Lyme, Connecticut, on December 31, 1766 (he records his birthdate as January 1, 1767), the son of Captain Benjamin and Abigail (Worthington) Mather. Later, the family moved to Whately, Massachusetts. William worked as a cabinetmaker, housewright, carpenter, bricklayer, and brickmaker, raised some livestock, and performed other jobs. Mather was married to Tirzah Morton, and they had 11 children. The sons worked with their father. Mather died in 1835, possibly in Ontario County, New York. Mather's account book, in the collection of the Winterthur Museum Library reveals details about his career and life. He made and installed window frames; recorded charges for labor performed by himself, his sons and other men; made and mended furniture; pastured livestock for others; plastered houses; rented out his horse; made coffins and handles for tools; bottomed chairs; wove cloth (this work was possibly done by Mather’s daughters or wife, although he does not record that in his account book); turned wood, and did other sorts of jobs. Forms of furniture referenced include drop-leaf tables, candlestands, bedsteads, bed posts, banister chairs, chests, cradles, chests of drawers, a clock case, and plain chairs. He was paid with lumber, oil, shoes, produce, shingle nails, textile fabrics, other goods, and some cash. At the end of the volume is a list of William and Tirzah Mather’s children and a list of his apprentices.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2019.5

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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