1446
1446

IMPORTANT AMERICAN FURNITURE FROM THE ESTATES OF GEORGE AND ESTELLE FARREL GOSS

VERY RARE CHIPPENDALE CARVED AND FIGURED MAHOGANY HIGH CHEST OF DRAWERS, CARVING ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN POLLARD (1740-1787) AND/OR RICHARD BUTTS (W. ABT 1765-1775), PHILADELPHIA, CIRCA 1765
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
1446

IMPORTANT AMERICAN FURNITURE FROM THE ESTATES OF GEORGE AND ESTELLE FARREL GOSS

VERY RARE CHIPPENDALE CARVED AND FIGURED MAHOGANY HIGH CHEST OF DRAWERS, CARVING ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN POLLARD (1740-1787) AND/OR RICHARD BUTTS (W. ABT 1765-1775), PHILADELPHIA, CIRCA 1765
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

|
New York

VERY RARE CHIPPENDALE CARVED AND FIGURED MAHOGANY HIGH CHEST OF DRAWERS, CARVING ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN POLLARD (1740-1787) AND/OR RICHARD BUTTS (W. ABT 1765-1775), PHILADELPHIA, CIRCA 1765
finials, cartouche and majority of applied carving is replaced.
Height 93 in. by Width 45 in. by Depth 25 1/4 in.
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Catalogue Note

This exceptional high chest a monumental statement of the Rococo aesthetic in Philadelphia, where cabinetmakers excelled at integrating rococo designs on case pieces and specialist carvers executed the most sophisticated carved decoration in the colonies. Its en suite dressing table is in the collection of the U.S. Department of State.
The distinctive pendant bellflower with beads on the skirt is a trademark motif found in the work of the Philadelphia carver, John Pollard (1740-1787), who executed very similar ones on commode seat side chairs with hairy paw feet commissioned by John Cadwalader (1742-1786) from Benjamin Randolph (1737-1792) in circa 1769.2  John Pollard was the principle carver in Randolph’s shop at the time of the Cadwalader commission and is believed to be responsible for the masterful carving of the commode seat chairs.3 As Pollard was known to reuse his carving repertoire, this motif is found on other examples of his work, including a set of chairs made for David Deshler (d. 1792), a set of chairs made for Charles Thomson and a tea table made for the Biddle family.4

Pollard was trained in London and working in Philadelphia by December of 1765, when Benjamin Randolph (1737-1792) recorded in his receipt book a payment for Pollard’s rent. Randolph financed Pollard’s emigration and employed him by indenture. He worked in the Randolph shop during the 1760s and early 1770s. By 1773, Pollard had established a business with Richard Butts on Chestnut Street, between Third and Fourth Streets, opposite Carpenter’s Hall.5  On February 22nd of that year, the Pennsylvania Gazette reported that Pollard and Butts could provide “all manner of carving” at the Sign of the Chinese Shield.”6

This high chest and its matching dressing table were likely made during Pollard’s tenure with Richard Butts. Several other very closely related high chests and dressing tables represent the same shop tradition. These include a high chest at Winterthur Museum with a history in the Turner family; a high chest in the Karolik Collection owned by Judge Stacy Potts of Trenton, New Jersey; and a high chest and dressing table that belonged to Joseph Moulder (c. 1722-1779) of Philadelphia.7 A dressing table at Bayou Bend also appears to be part of this group of related case furniture.8

1 See Clement Conger and Alexandra Rollins, Treasures of State (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991): no. 57, p. 141.
2 For two chairs from the Cadwalader suite, see Leroy Graves and Luke Beckerdite, “New Insights on John Cadwalder’s Commode-Seat Side Chairs,” American Furniture 2000, figs. 3 and 5, pp. 154-5. See also Andrew Brunk, “Benjamin Randolph Revisited,” American Furniture 2007, fig. 48, p. 33.
3 See Graves and Beckerdite, pp. 153 and 156.
4 One chair from the Deshler set is illustrated in Israel Sack Inc., American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, Volume VI, P3920, p. 48. See one chair from the Thomson set at Chipstone in Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone, Madison, 1984, no. 63, pp. 144-5 and for the tea table, Christie’s, January 18-19, 2001, lot 119.
5 See Philadelphia: Three Centuries of American Art, Philadelphia, 1976, p. 114.
6 See Andrew Brunk, “Benjamin Randolph Revisited,” American Furniture 2007, p. 6.
7 See Joseph Downs, American Furniture (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1952): no. 195, Edwin Hipkiss, M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts (Boston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1950): no. 33, p. 58, Morrison Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985): no. 165, and William Voss Elder and Jayne Stokes, American Furniture, 1680-1880 (Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art, 1987): no. 63.
8 See David Warren, et al, American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Colleciton (Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1998): F128, p. 78.

Important Americana

|
New York