Maker: Possibly William Searle (died 1667)
Maker: Thomas Dennis (1638–1706)
Geography: Made in Ipswich, Massachusetts, United States
Medium: White oak, red oak
Dimensions: 29 3/4 x 49 1/8 x 21 3/8 in. (75.6 x 124.8 x 54.3 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1909
Accession Number: 10.125.685
The richest and most vigorous early colonial carving is that associated with the work of William Searle (1634–1667) and Thomas Dennis (1638–1706) of Ipswich. Paired leaves, with a naturalistic, three-dimensional quality rare in American furniture of the period, dominate the panels of this chest; the panels are carved in the popular seventeenth-century design of a stalk of flowers and leaves emerging from an urn, of which only the opening is indicated here. Searle and Dennis came from Devonshire, England, where a tradition of florid carving, using many of the motifs seen on this chest, flourished in the early seventeenth century.