Blockfront Secretarybookcase Of The Best Northern New England Type

Property of Dr. Ernest Noyes, Newburyport, Mass.

CHIPPENDALE SECRETARY-BOOKCASE CLOSEI-Y RESEMBLING ENGLISH EXAMPLES By Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum, New York City

Photograph by Whicenack

A PHILADELPHIA CHIPPENDALE ROCOCO HIGHBOY IN' UNTOUCHED

CONDITION

By Courtesy of Howard Reifsnyder, Esq., Philadelphia

Art Nouveau Gates

PHILADELPHIA HIGHBOY WITH BONNET-TOP By Courtesy of che Metropolitan Museum

Philadelphia High Boy Illustration

PHILADELPHIA HIGHBOY WITH ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL APRON CARVING Loaned by Francis P. Gar van, Esq., to the Metropolitan Museum

PHILADELPHIA HIGHBOY WITH SEPARATE PEDIMENT Loaned by rhe Estate of Mary Fell Howe to the Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia

SMALL HIGHBOY WITH FLAT TOP Property of Mr$<. E. S. Holloway

ROCOCO COMMODE OF AUTHENTIC CHIPPENDALE ORIGIN From the Collection of the late Richard A. Canfield

New England followed old England's trend and discarded the cabriole-legged highboy. Pennsylvania continued it, lavished upon it all the wealth of Chippendale ornament, and made of it a thing of beauty: with the double-cheSt it did the same: and later it also provided some excellent low cheSts-of-drawers.

In the fir& edition of the "Director" Chippendale shows but one example of the scrolled pediment while he repeatedly employs the triangular form: yet from the "Director" years till well towards the end of his career many of the lovelieSt examples were made with the scroll pediment and fret as in the American pieces in Plates 36 and 39.

Lowboys, used as dressing-tables, continued to be made to match the highboys. The lowboy appearing in Plate 136 belonged to Thomas Sully.

The beaded edge previously mentioned occurs in an excellent labelled lowboy by Thomas Tufft of Philadelphia, who was married in 1766-, acquired property in 1779, bought the shop mentioned in his label in 1780, and who was dead by 1793.

This is the firSt piece by Tufft that has been found and is the moSt recent discovery of thus authenticated furniture. It is due to Dr. Samuel W. Woodhouse, Jr., associate of the Pennsylvania Museum. The lowboy is owned by Mrs. Edgar Wright Baird, and is reproduced in Plate 44 B by her permission and through the kindness of Dr. Woodhouse who has also loaned me his photograph.

The same form and treatment of the apron and the same design of knee also occur in a fine highboy bearing a brass plate Stating that it was formerly owned by Joseph Wharton and used at Walnut Grove when the Meschianza was held there during the British occupancy of Philadelphia in 1778. It is now owned by his de scendant Mrs. J. Bertram (Wharton) Lippincott, of Philadelphia.

The centre of the apron in the highboy is carved with a small ornament absent in the lowboy, while the handles of the highboy are much less elaborate than those in the lowboy. The two pieces were plainly, therefore, never intended as mates, but their similarity in all other respedts would indicate the probability of the highboy also having been made by Tufft.

A curious circumstance is here worth mention: the quarter-sedtion column that forms the corner-finish of so many of these cabinet-pieces (Plates 33-35) was used in the Queen Anne peripd in both countries: in America it was continued in the Chippendale Style: in England it was abandoned for cabinet-pieces, but used on clock-cases; and in the exceedingly rare instances in which it did appear in cabinet-pieces it was probably adopted from the clocks.

Two types of cabinet-pieces will at once be noted— those in which the pediment is separate from the front (Plates 36 and 39) and those in which they are not separated by a cornice (Plates 33—35).

In Plate 34 the top is hooded: in the other examples it is not.

Attention has not previously been called to the virily carved flower as being a favourite termination to the scroll pediment on the part of one or more of the Philadelphia group. It also appears on the clock-case illustrated in Plate 139. The flower terminal appeared in English pieces but not so finely developed as in the American examples.

Beautifully handled Rococo scrolls form the principal ornament of Plates 33-35 but it will be noted that the acanthus leaf is adhered to on the knees, as the decoration beSt accompanying the claw-and-ball foot. The fret is used as a frieze in Plates 32 and 39, that in the latter being bold and of unusual design. In all these pieces the wood and the workmanship are of the higheSl quality. No duplicates of any of them have been discovered.

The double-cheSt illustrated in Plate 40 is an incongruous but imposing piece of furniture. It came from the Elias Hasket Derby mansion at Salem, Massachusetts, of which the famous Samuel Mclntire was architect and the wooden figures are believed to have been carved by him. The base is Chippendale but the top is wholly in the Classic vein adopted by Mclntire.

The flat-top highboy illustrated in Plate 37 is but 4 ft., 6}^ in. high and 3 ft. wide and is admirably adapted to an apartment. Such pretty little pieces show the same care in the choice of material and the same impeccable workmanship as the larger and more highly ornamented examples: in this highboy the panels at the sides are of the choicest curled mahogany veneer.

I am particularly happy in being able to show, for the firSt time, through the kindness of Mr. Reifsnyder, a high cheSt-of-drawers in his fine collection—Plate 41. It is the lateSt-made piece of Chippendale furniture yet discovered, and its date in contemporary inlay is indisputable proof that this furniture was made in the Philadelphia neighbourhood as late as 1793. It was found at Bristol, twenty miles from Philadelphia, and the initials would indicate the probability of its having been a marriage-cheSt.

The cheSt-of-drawers illustrated in Plate 42 is of double interest: it is the labelled work of a cabinetmaker so recently "discovered"—thanks to the tireless investigators of the Staff and associates of its owner, the Pennsylvania Museum—that his name has appeared in no previous furniture-book; and the label itself is one of the proofs that Chippendale furniture continued to be made here after the Revolution.

Jonathan GoStelowe was a cabinet-maker of distinction in Philadelphia, a vestryman of ChriSt Church —for which he made the baptismal-font and a table-altar—and during the Revolution was commissioned a Major. At the end of the war he "resumed his former occupation," as the label reads, as did other craftsmen.

This serpentine cheSt-of-drawers is a fine mahogany piece with chamfered and fluted corners and ogee bracket feet. Two of the elaborate escutcheons remain: the original handles would of course have matched them in character.

This piece closely follows some of the English examples, but it was doubtless felt that for a low cheSt the appearance of the bracket feet is too heavy, and Chippendale obviated this by narrowing the chamfered corners and hollowing the sides, thus bringing the corners more towards a point and correspondingly reducing the width of the feet.

An excellent straight-front cheát-of-drawers is that shown in Plate 43. The bow-front in Plate 44 A, with oval handles, is late and possesses no Chippendale characteristics beyond its legs and feet. It is probably of New England make. The claw-and-ball of some other late pieces is particularly feeble.

BEDSTEADS

The State bedsteads of England were not in use here. A fine example of the type made in America is shown in Plate 45. The head posts were plain, as they were intended to be covered by draperies: the poSts at the foot of this bed are reeded and the whole elaborately carved leg is detachable from the poSt. This bed-

Photograph by Whitenack

0 0

Post a comment