HEPPLEWHITE INLAID MAHOGANY FIVE-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 and two side-by-side short drawers above three long drawers and a closely related skirt. Hepplewhite’s “Guide” was the first of the English Neoclassical design directories that influenced American Federal furniture design. The top drawer of the present chest uses decorative inlay to simulate the appearance of two side-by-side drawers. Hepplewhite does not show a five-drawer chest.
This piece is distinguished by its tall flaring feet, excellent condition and lovely old surface.