This dressing table is representative of a type of William and Mary case form made in Boston, with a richly veneered surface, dovetailed board case, trumpet turned legs, and flat serpentine stretchers. It displays striking panels of burl walnut with herringbone borders of walnut on the top and front of the case. The sides are ornamented with vibrant tiger maple veneers. The boldly turned legs are painted to simulate tortoiseshell. The stretchers are veneered in maple. The design follows the English taste that was fashionable in Boston in the early 18th
century, particularly the stretchers centering an oval platform which directly derives from English furniture made in the late 17th
The dressing table survives in a fine state of preservation and retains its original turned drops, faux tortoise shell paint on the legs, and cast brass and engraved hardware.
Several other William and Mary high chests from Boston reflect a similar design and combination of woods. One formerly in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. William Coburn of Chestnut Hill, MA is in the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum.2
Another from the collection of George S. Parker II was sold in these rooms, The Highly Important Americana Collection of George S. Parker II from the Caxambas Foundation
, January 19, 2017, sale 9605, lot 2025. Another with a history in the Pickering family has a related lower case and attribution to Theophilus Pickering of Salem.3
1 See identical stretchers with an oval platform on a table at Beningborough Hall and one at Drayton House illustrated in Adam Bowett, English Furniture, 1660-1714: From Charles II to Queen Anne, plates 9:14 and 9:35.
2 See Brock Jobe, et al, American Furniture with Related Decorative Arts, 1660-1830 (New York, 1991), no. 26, pp. 78-80.
3 See Israel Sack Inc., American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, Volume III, no. 1417, pp. 628-9.