View full screen - View 1 of Lot 505. Very Rare William and Mary Line-and-Berry Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, Chester County or Delaware River Valley, Pennsylvania, Circa 1735.
505

Very Rare William and Mary Line-and-Berry Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, Chester County or Delaware River Valley, Pennsylvania, Circa 1735

Estimate:

15,000 - 25,000 USD

Very Rare William and Mary Line-and-Berry Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, Chester County or Delaware River Valley, Pennsylvania, Circa 1735

Very Rare William and Mary Line-and-Berry Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, Chester County or Delaware River Valley, Pennsylvania, Circa 1735

Estimate:

15,000 - 25,000 USD

Bid:

10,000

USD

Live auction begins in:

Live auction begins in:

6 days, 8 hours

6 days, 8 hours

Very Rare William and Mary Line-and-Berry Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers

Chester County or Delaware River Valley, Pennsylvania

Circa 1735


Lower section of legs, stretchers and feet replaced.

Height 52 1/2 in. by Width 43 in. by Depth 25 in.

Pook & Pook, Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Period Furniture, Fine Art, & Accessories, October 12, 2013, lot 348;
Philip Bradley, Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Jeanmarie Andrews, “Line and Berry Furniture,” Early American Life (May/June 2021): 30;
Christopher Storb, “Lines and Dots,” October 25, 2021, https://cstorb.com/2021/10/25/lines-and-dots/.

This William and Mary chest on frame is the only known example of its form with line and berry inlay. The top is elaborately inlaid with a large two-handled urn flanked by scrolling vines. The two short and three long drawers of the case and the single drawer of the base are decorated with scrolling vines that terminate in unusual four-berry clusters. The maker used numerous compass point settings to lay out the design to achieve the curves of the scrolls. Similar urn and scrolling vine inlays are found on a walnut slant-front desk in the Dietrich American Foundation.1In his recently published article “Lines and Dots,” Christopher Storb illustrates and discusses this chest on frame as part of a group of line and berry furniture that may have originated in the Delaware River Valley rather than Chester County. He identifies characteristics found on this chest as distinctive for the group including the unusual four berry clusters and use of numerous compass point settings to generate the design. The secondary woods of red gum, Atlantic white cedar, and hard pine used to construct this chest and others in the group are typical of furniture made in the Delaware River Valley. Storb identifies other case pieces as part of this group including the two-part chest of drawers in the du Pont Collection and the slant-front desk in the Dietrich American Foundation mentioned above, as well as other chests and boxes.   

A walnut chest on frame of similar form with paneled sides and lacking inlaid decoration is illustrated in Cathryn J. McElroy, “Furniture in Philadelphia: The First Fifty Years, Winterthur Portfolio 13, edited by Ian Quimby, 1979, fig. 13, p. 74.

1 Illustrated in Christopher Storb, “Lines and Dots,” October 25, 2021, https://cstorb.com/2021/10/25/lines-and-dots/