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
Lower section of legs, stretchers and feet replaced.
Height 52 1/2 in. by Width 43 in. by Depth 25 in.
Secondary wood: Atlantic white cedar. The four outer legs have been restored with the bottom 10 in of the leg, including stretchers and feet, have been replaced. Hardware replaced. Retaining period brasses that are not original. Top drawers with Quaker locks and top proper right drawer with minor lip damage.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
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/