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Early 19th Century Federal Birds Eye Maple Chest of Drawers With Cherry & Poplar

Early 19th Century Federal Birds Eye Maple Chest of Drawers With Cherry & Poplar

Regular price $3,675.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $3,675.00 USD
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With our highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in offering this spectacular and rare early American chest of drawers. This chest is one of the finest examples of an American Federal period dresser having been made for a gentleman of considerable wealth sometime during the late 18th or early 19th century over two hundred years ago. The most notable aspect of this chest of drawers is that it was constructed with the finest selection of bird's eye maple hardwood available anywhere. We typically associate chests of this quality with similar furniture made in the American countryside as large cities are not known to host old growth maple trees and it is far more common to see such notable flitches of wood turned into veneers when used in the cabinet and furniture making shops associated with large cities. This stately chest has larger proportions making it well suited for a gentleman who required a commanding dresser for all of their various clothing and personal objects. Typically we find the finest chests of drawers constructed from solid bird's eye maple hardwood in the historic communities of Vermont and New Hampshire as well as further southwest into New York and Pennsylvania. We believe this chest was most likely built in Eastern or Central Pennsylvania based on the prominent poplar panels on both sides. While poplar is utilized in furniture construction all throughout New England the most desirable grades of tulip poplar are most commonly associated with the historic Pennsylvania communities of the late 18th century. Considering how prominent the poplar sides are and the superior quality of the poplar hardwood we believe the dresser most likely originated in Pennsylvania however we can not say conclusively that it was not made elsewhere. What we can assert with all confidence is that this chest of drawers is a superior example to nearly every other known counterpart of the American federal period made with solid bird's eye maple hardwood and mixed hardwoods for the case construction.

This chest of drawers has a prominent backsplash which provides an extra degree of sophistication to this already commanding piece. There is some slight bending to the backsplash over the length of the board however it really has no baring on the chest of any kind. Two smaller overhung drawers rest below the top and protrude over a large drawer and three graduated drawers beneath. The drawers are flanked by exceptionally well turned half columns which are comprised of various design elements such as ringlets and architectural columns. The half columns and sides are constructed with cherry which contrasts the brilliance of the bird's eye maple perfectly. The chest is well constructed with masterful hand cut dovetail drawer construction along with frame and panel case construction on each side and throughout the back which allows for seasonal wood expansion and contraction with no adverse effects to the dresser's overall stability or longevity. The drawers feature well-turned knobs which were replaced as evident from the apparent repair plugs where older hardware would have been. We believe the current configuration to be the best as far as regular use is concerned. The drawers have retained the original secondary panels and locks throughout the centuries. The chest is supported by shaped cutout rear legs and turned front legs which feature well-formed ball feet. The chest measures 46 1/2" wide x 20" deep x 58 1/2" tall.

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