High chest of drawers

Date: 1762–65

Geography: Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany, mahogany veneer, tulip poplar,
yellow pine, white cedar

Dimensions: 91 3/4 x 44 5/8 x 24 5/8 in. (233 x 113.3 x 62.5 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1918

Accession Number: 18.110.4


The naturalistic carving on this tall chest is the work of highly skilled London-trained craftsmen who came to Philadelphia before the Revolutionary War to seek their fortunes. Characteristically, these makers took motifs from London pattern books and rearranged them to suit local tastes. Thus, the scroll pediment with finial bust and cornice moldings were taken directly from illustrations in Thomas Chippendale's famous "Gentlemen and Cabinet Maker's Director" (1762), the serpent-and-swan motif in the central bottom drawer from Thomas Johnson's " New Book of Ornaments" (1762).