1650
1650

IMPORTANT AMERICAN FURNITURE FROM THE COLLECTION OF W. FORBES AND JANE RAMSEY

FINE AND RARE QUEEN ANNE CARVED CHERRYWOOD FLAT-TOP HIGH CHEST OF DRAWERS WITH STEPS, ATTRIBUTED TO SAMUEL BROWN, COLCHESTER, CONNECTICUT, CIRCA 1770
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 11,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
1650

IMPORTANT AMERICAN FURNITURE FROM THE COLLECTION OF W. FORBES AND JANE RAMSEY

FINE AND RARE QUEEN ANNE CARVED CHERRYWOOD FLAT-TOP HIGH CHEST OF DRAWERS WITH STEPS, ATTRIBUTED TO SAMUEL BROWN, COLCHESTER, CONNECTICUT, CIRCA 1770
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 11,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

|
New York

FINE AND RARE QUEEN ANNE CARVED CHERRYWOOD FLAT-TOP HIGH CHEST OF DRAWERS WITH STEPS, ATTRIBUTED TO SAMUEL BROWN, COLCHESTER, CONNECTICUT, CIRCA 1770

Provenance

G.K.S. Bush, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Exhibited

G.K.S. Bush, Inc. Advertisement, Antiques, March 1986, vol. CXXIX, no. 3, p. 471.

Catalogue Note

One of the earliest chests known in the Colchester style and rare for surviving with its original stepped superstructure, this high chest is nearly identical to a high chest in a private collection signed by Samuel Brown (born 1748), who likely signed it as a shop apprentice.1 He married Prudence Sawyer at the age of 20 in 1768 and they moved to Norwich, Vermont in 1769. The signed chest has a long history of ownership in the Welles family home located in the Gilead parish of Hebron, North of Colchester. It may have been originally owned by John Howell Welles (1744-1826) and his wife Mary (Bill) (1744-1794), who married on November 16, 1769. It could also have been owned by John’s father, Edmund Welles (1721-1805), who built the family homestead in 1764.

Although lacking side finials and with inset brasses on the long drawers, this chest is otherwise identical to the chest signed by Samuel Brown. Both display design and construction characteristics associated with the Colchester style such as a distinctive shell design, scrolled knee returns, and prominent ankle hocks. They also exhibit the construction techniques of backboards nailed in rabbets to the case sides and top; drawer runners that are nailed to the case sides; drawer sides that are flat on top; and dovetails pins that are small and triangular.

A third related Colchester style example with similar steps is in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum.2 It likely represents another shop tradition as it differs in drawer proportions, shaping of the bonnet opening and carving of the shells.

1 See Thomas P. Kugelman and Alice K. Kugelman, Connecticut Valley Furniture (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society Museum, 2005): no. 120, pp. 264-7.
2 See ibid, cat. 120B, p. 266.

Important Americana

|
New York