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Antique Cherry & Tiger Maple Hepplewhite Chest of Drawers - Spooner & Fitts

Antique Cherry & Tiger Maple Hepplewhite Chest of Drawers - Spooner & Fitts

Regular price $3,850.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $3,850.00 USD
Sale Sold out


With our highest compliments & utmost honor, Bay Colony Antiques is proud to offer for sale this exceptional CA 1810 Worcester County Hepplewhite Chest of Drawers attributed to Spooner & Fitts of Athol, Massachusetts. Alden Spooner & George Fitts were active during the late 18th & early 19th centuries and are among the most celebrated Central & Western Massachusetts cabinet makers. Their prolific partnership and lives are well documented, but just like other cabinet shops of the time, only a handful of their top tier commissioned work is accepted as undoubtedly Spooner & Fitts pieces because they’re so distinct like their paneled chests. Worcester County & Hampden County was home to a number of skilled cabinet makers, and we’d highly recommend anybody with a passion for collecting or those who are interested in learning more about cabinet makers of the area to visit Historic Deerfield and Old Sturbridge Village to view an unparalleled collection of furniture and other decorative arts from the area. Spooner & Fitts’ work drew inspiration from Thomas Sheraton and George Hepplewhite's design books & also incorporated design elements that were popular in Boston & Portsmouth in the late 18th century.

The chest employs a very deliberate and distinct grain layout to the drawer faces, and each drawer has a Curly Maple cross banded inlay and cock bead molded edge. The drawers have fantastic white inlaid diamond shape escutcheons and 8 of the absolute finest oval embossed brass pulls that would have been available to cabinet makers at the time. We expected to find a Hands & Jenkins mark on the pulls, but the hardware is unmarked. We’ve never seen this pattern before and couldn’t find a match in any of our trade catalogs or pattern books from the period. We believe they were made in or around Birmingham and are likely related to an esteemed set featured in “Brass Tacks” by The Magazine Antiques which is available to view for free online.The brasses are oval shaped with a reticulated design on the main field followed by a beaded edge that transitions to a concave ring. The center most field is slightly raised with a basket weave design with the same reticulated pattern juxtaposed in intersecting planes with a raised dot at the centers. The brasses have an interesting series of punched circles along the upper & lower edge, but our favorite and most noteworthy design embellishment on the brasses are of course the eye-catching embossed stars at each end.

The top and sides of the chest are Cherry, with White Pine being the most prominent secondary wood. We believe the drawer faces are Cherry, but we’re going to ask our restorer to take a second look at this and see if he has the same opinion. The previous owner was insistent that this was a fruitwood chest as that’s what they were always told by their mother. Tiger maple veneers were used for the cross banding around the drawers and we believe the inlay along the skirt is Sumac. The inlay on this chest at present bears a striking resemblance to the sumac inlay on an Alden Spooner chest of drawers CA 1807 owned by Old Sturbridge Village (collection #5.38.11). If you’ve been in the market for an upper-top tier chest of drawers such as this one, we would highly recommend this example for your consideration. The chest is absolutely stunning and is a rare piece of Massachusetts history that we look forward to placing in its next home. We contemplated offering this to either museum first, but their collections are so large that not everything can be displayed and we take pride in offering our clients the absolute best early American furniture for sale in the country. We’re proud to offer our clients the opportunity to live alongside museum-quality furniture like this Massachusetts chest of drawers. The chest measures 42 1/2” wide x 19” deep x 38 1/4” tall.


Additional construction notes & condition report

The drawers were with constructed hand chamfered panels with blind dovetails at the front face, and a neat set of dovetails fit to size at the drawer back. The drawer backs are initialed & numbered in chalk, and the 3rd & 4th drawer have some pencil script arithmetic which we presume was the price of the chest with all of the accoutrements at a little over $11. Glue blocks are neat & intact and the drawers operate smoothly. Chest stiles are an independent piece of wood. The drawer runners are nailed into the side case, as are the rear glue blocks inside the case. The glue blocks on the bottom of the chest are tightly spaced & chunky, the front and rear legs have a chamfered edge on the blocks. Overall the chest is in very fine condition. There’s some light surface wear and a couple of age splits, light shrinkage to edge molding.


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