408
408

PROPERTY SOLD WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE TRUSTEES OF THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART TO BENEFIT ACQUISITION FUNDS

The Smith-Caldwell Family Fine Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Bonnet-Top High Chest of Drawers, Attributed to the Shop of Henry Clifton and Thomas Carteret, the carving attributed to Nicholas Bernard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Circa 1755-1765
Estimación
100.000200.000
Lote. Vendido 182,500 USD (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE
408

PROPERTY SOLD WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE TRUSTEES OF THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART TO BENEFIT ACQUISITION FUNDS

The Smith-Caldwell Family Fine Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Bonnet-Top High Chest of Drawers, Attributed to the Shop of Henry Clifton and Thomas Carteret, the carving attributed to Nicholas Bernard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Circa 1755-1765
Estimación
100.000200.000
Lote. Vendido 182,500 USD (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana: Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Porcelain, Prints and Carpets including property sold by the Philadelphia Museum of Art

|
New York

The Smith-Caldwell Family Fine Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Bonnet-Top High Chest of Drawers, Attributed to the Shop of Henry Clifton and Thomas Carteret, the carving attributed to Nicholas Bernard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Circa 1755-1765
Appears to retain its original cast brass open work hardware. AU inscribed on backboard. Finials and cartouche replaced.
Height 96 1/2 in. by Width 44 1/2 in. by Depth 24 1/4 in.
Leer informe de condiciones Leer informe de condiciones

Procedencia

According to family history written by Anna Caldwell Whitehead Duer of Cedarhurst, Long Island, NY, this high chest was owned by the Scottish émigré James Robertson Smith (1756-1817) and his wife Hannah Caldwell (1767-1823), daughter of Rev. James Caldwell (1734-1781) and Hannah Ogden (d. 1780) of Elizabethtown, New Jersey;
To their son James Caldwell Robertson Smith (1803-1837);
To his wife Julia Halsey Smith (d. 1872) at his death;
To their daughter Anna Caldwell Smith (born 1833);
To her husband A. Pennington Whitehead (d. 1920) at her death;
To their daughter Anna Caldwell Whitehead Duer;
Purchased by Mrs. Henry Breyer, 1974;
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1974-135-1, Gift of Mrs. Henry Breyer, 1974

Nota del catálogo

Representing a distinctly American eighteenth century case form, this high chest stands as an important example of the fully developed Rococo aesthetic associated with the colonial craftsmen and artisans of Philadelphia. With its magnificent carving and accomplished design, it exudes the refined hallmarks of the best casework made in that city in the mid-eighteenth century. It descended in the family of James Robertson Smith (1756-1817), a Scottish émigré and New York merchant, and his wife Hannah Caldwell (1767-1823), until 1974, when Mrs. Henry Breyer purchased it from a family member for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hannah may have inherited the high chest from her parents, Rev. James Caldwell (1734-1781) and Hannah Ogden (d. 1780) of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, who married in 1763. He was a Presbyterian minister in Elizabethtown as well as a Virginia landowner and patriot in the American Revolution who fought in the Battle of Springfield.  A dressing table that was possibly made en suite with this high chest is illustrated by William MacPherson Hornor in Blue Book Philadelphia Furniture, 1935, pl. 153 as the property of Mrs. George Jacobs, Jr.

This high chest is one of a small group of Philadelphia case pieces that can be associated with a specific carver and cabinet shop. Its superb naturalistic carving is attributed to Nicholas Bernard, who executed it in his mature working style in circa 1760. He took extraordinary care in executing the carving on the shell drawers of this high chest, in particular, by using an extremely fine veining tool to delineate the flutes and finished them with rows of punch marks alternating with rows of dots and gouge marks. The knees display carving comprised of bilaterally symmetrical leaves separated by a V-shaped dart articulated beneath a flowerhead. Similar knee carving appears on other case furniture and chairs attributed to Bernard (see Luke Beckerdite and Alan Miller, “A Table’s Tale: Craft, Art, and Opportunity in Eighteenth Century Philadelphia,” American Furniture 2004, figs. 19 and 31, pp. 12 and 18).

Nicholas Bernard was apparently contracted for his work by the partnership of Henry Clifton and Thomas Carteret, two Quaker cabinetmakers who were members of the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. This attribution is based upon a remarkably similar high chest of drawers at Colonial Williamsburg signed “Henry Cliffton/Thomas Carteret” and dated November 15, 1753 (see Morrison Heckscher and Leslie Greene Bowman, American Rococo, 1750-1775, New York, 1992, fig. 47, p. 199). The latter exhibits carving that has been identified as Bernard’s earliest dated work. Both high chests incorporate the same case form shape and nearly identical carved decoration executed from the same tools, from their shell drawers to their acanthus knees and claw feet. A dressing table at Colonial Williamsburg made en suite with the signed high chest also stems from the same collaboration as does the Van Pelt-Robb Family dressing table sold at Sotheby’s, Important Americana, September 26, 2008, sale 8448, lot 9 (see Hornor, p. 185).

The same distinctive shell drawer and knee carving by Nicholas Bernard is exhibited on a dressing table with a history in the Biddle family that sold at Sotheby’s, Fine Americana, January 28-31, 1994, sale 6527, lot 1280, a high chest of drawers and en suite dressing table that sold at Sotheby’s, Highly Important Americana from the Collection of Stanley Paul Sax, January 16-7, 1998, sale 7087, lot 522, a chest-on-chest in a private collection, and on a chest-on-chest in the collection of the Historical Society of Dauphin County.

A closely related walnut high chest of drawers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1964-142-1) commissioned by Levi Hollingworth and his wife Hannah Paschal Hollingworth also appears to represent the same craft tradition.

Important Americana: Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Porcelain, Prints and Carpets including property sold by the Philadelphia Museum of Art

|
New York