Chest-on-Chest

Maker: Thomas Townsend (1742–1827)

Date: ca. 1772

Geography: Made in Newport, Rhode Island, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany, chestnut, tulip poplar

Dimensions: 86 3/4 x 44 x 21 3/8 in. (220.3 x 111.8 x 54.3 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of the American Wing Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Goelet Gift, Sansbury-Mills Fund, and Leigh Keno and The Hohmann Foundation Gifts, 2005

Accession Number: 2005.52

Description

Thomas Townsend was a member of the famed Townsend-Goddard dynasty of Newport cabinetmakers and this is the only documented work by him. The raised panels above the top drawers, which echo the curves of the pediment, are characteristic of Newport manufacture. This chest-on-chest and another example from Philadelphia (1975.91) offer two elegant solutions to the challenge of integrating a scroll pediment with an architectural case.

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