Skip to product information
1 of 16


Important Queen Anne Walnut Eastern Pennsylvania Tall Chest on Ogee Bracket Feet

Important Queen Anne Walnut Eastern Pennsylvania Tall Chest on Ogee Bracket Feet

Regular price $7,600.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $7,600.00 USD
Sale Sold out

With our absolute highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in offering this exceptional early American tall chest of drawers. In our pursuits of collecting the finest early American furniture and antiques available we have made it our mission to keep a constant supply of interesting and rare examples from all of the earliest settled regions of the country. Our deepest ties are to New England where in our opinion the finest forms of antique furniture were first made for the wealthy coastal patrons who settled territories and established commerce roots throughout the 18th century. In the New England countryside we find brilliant antiques made with either grain painted surfaces or constructed with native old growth lumbers such as tiger maple and cherry wood that are widely sought after by collectors of traditional American antiques. As we explore the historical areas from Virginia to as far south as the Carolina's and Georgia we encounter southern antique treasures which are both incredibly rare and exceptionally well built as the craftsmen of the early periods in our country were undeniably resourceful and skilled. The loss of many of these treasures during the American Civil War has made what historical artifacts still remain extremely scarce and typically quite expensive with respect to demand from collectors of Southern antiques and arts. In all of our travels we have found the absolute best value for antiques of the 18th century early American period to be those associated with the eastern counties of Pennsylvania where the craftsmen of that era labored tirelessly to fashion products built of wood and iron for the emerging class of patrons fueled by trade and commerce around Philadelphia and the Delaware River Valley. The historical antique furniture and decorative arts of the mid 18th century Pennsylvania tradition are unquestionably larger in scale and superior in construction to nearly anything else built in America during that same time. While the plantation homes of the Southern States are renowned for their impressive grand furnishings and in many Northeastern communities finely constructed case furniture are commonly found; the class of craftsmen from Pennsylvania consistently produced masterful furniture throughout these early periods with a continual higher degree of craftsmanship and precision not found anywhere else in the country. We find it necessary to denote the differences between the craftsmanship found in these early regions of the country to properly advertise the importance of the historical chest of drawers which we now presently offer for sale.

This tall chest was constructed for a gentleman of considerable means during the third quarter of the 18th century circa 1760 - 1780. Based on previous examples we have owned and seen come to market we believe this chest to be in all likelihood from Chester or York County however we can not exclude the surrounding areas as possible places where the chest may have been built. The entire chest is constructed from a premium grade of black walnut which grows in Pennsylvania and has unique characteristics such as desirable grain patterns and a particular vibrancy brought out of the wood during the finishing process. The true hallmark of this chest and those comparable examples known to antique scholars is the commanding scale and typical over engineered case construction that Pennsylvania craftsmen are famous for. When we say that this chest is a substantial piece we mean that with no exaggeration. Even with every drawer removed from the case two strong and experienced movers will still struggle to transport this chest and all precautions must be taken when this chest is handled. The weight of the case is due in part to the density of the black walnut wood which is probably the heaviest grade of lumber used in 18th century furniture building. Pennsylvania case furniture is commonly expressed as being "over built" which means that the craftsmen go above and beyond what is necessary in furniture construction to achieve a case of drawers that will never faulter or fall apart. Evidence of this are the continual dustboards located beneath every drawer in the case, a much thicker stock of lumber than what typically constitutes most early American dressers, exaggerated dovetails which join the sides of the case together, and reinforcing glue blocks along with hand forged iron nails placed on the underside and back of the chest.
This tall chest is fashioned in the three over two over four drawer format which is an iconic form commonly associated with grand chests of drawers made in Pennsylvania. The chest features a strong projected crown molding and an untouched original top surface with centuries of oxidation and use clearly visible. The walnut grain is absolutely brilliant particularly when exposed to sunlight and is further enhanced by a sophisticated 20th century period appropriate finish which overcoats the strong black walnut surface. Each drawer features a molded edge and fashionable brass Chippendale style "bat-wing" drawer pulls. To either side of the case are well formed quarter columns which both begin and terminate with compact turned elements. All drawers are masterfully joined with hand cut dovetails and are constructed with premium tulip poplar secondaries that are free from any notable restoration work. This commanding chest stands proudly on ogee bracket feet which are further strengthened by glue blocks and supports which have been maintained throughout the centuries so that the case does not faulter. The original backboards demonstrate three centuries of continual oxidation and give the most accurate representation of this chests considerable age. The underside of the chest is also well oxidized and shows the exposed dovetail construction which holds this case together. This tall chest is worthy of any museum, institution, or private collection where prominent Pennsylvania antiques are showcased. In the past generations market rate for a comparable chest was generally between $10,000 - $20,000 and some auction houses and antique firms still insist on maintaining those pricing standards. We feel this chest is an incredible investment grade antique with substantial value still left for an educated collector willing to give the piece a home for generations to come. It is truly our privilege to own and offer this remarkable chest and we truly hope the next owner shares our passion for this field of collecting. The tall chest measures 47 1/4" wide x 24 1/2" deep at the crown molding x 68 3/4" tall overall.


View full details