FEDERAL CHEST OF DRAWERS OR BUREAU, HEPPLEWHITE INLAID MAHOGANY 5-DRAWER CHEST
New York, circa 1800
The oblong top above a conforming case with five drawers, the top drawer decorated with side-by-side, diamond-shaped inlays and each drawer with a string inlay border and string edging, original brass bale-handle pulls with oval stamped brass back plates, the base with a ogee skirt terminating in tall flared French feet.
Secondary wood: Tulip Poplar.
H: 51” W: 45” D: 19½”
Condition: Excellent: retaining original brass drawer pulls and mellow antique surface. There is a small veneer patch on the proper right front foot.
This chest was inspired directly from George Hepplewhite’s “The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide” (London, 1794), pl.52, that illustrates a chest with two side-by-side short drawers above three long drawers and a closely related skirt. The top drawer of the present chest uses decorative inlay to simulate the appearance of two side-by-side drawers. Hepplewhite’s “Guide” was the first of the English Neoclassical design directories or pattern books to influence American Federal furniture design. Hepplewhite does not show a five-drawer chest.
This piece is distinguished by its tall flaring feet, excellent condition and lovely old surface.