Red oak, white pine, black walnut, red cedar, maple
18 x 17 x 10 in. (45.7 x 43.2 x 25.4 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1909
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 708
The ornamentation composed of applied elements and geometric patterns of moldings on the door of this small cabinet achieves a distinctly architectural effect. Several different kinds of wood were employed; originally, they differed in color, adding to the complexity of the scheme. Carving, the other major method of decoration used on seventeenth-century style colonial furniture, adorns the sides of the piece. This is one of four similar cabinets attributed to the tradition of joinery brought to Salem, Massachusetts, by John Symonds, who came to Salem in 1636 from Yarmouth, England. The octagonal sunburst motif on the door was a geometric design favored by the Symonds shops. The center plaque on the door is inscribed with the date 79 and the initials of the original owners, probably Ephraim and Mary Herrick of Beverly, Massachusetts. Behind the locked door are ten small drawers of varying sizes meant for the safekeeping of documents and small valuables of all kinds.
Inscription: incised on the front in octagonal medallion: 7H9 / E M
H. Eugene Bolles, Boston, until 1909; [Mrs. Russell Sage, New York, 1909]