Serpentinefronted tallboy

This tallboy (459) was primarily designed as a contemporary interpretation of a traditional form and has been on permanent exhibition since first made in 1951. Figure 460:1 shows the elevation and 460:2, 3 the side sectional elevation. As can be seen the tallboy is composed of two separate carcass units with attached top and plinth stool. Carcass top and sides are 3/4 in (19 mm) finish first-quality solid African mahogany cut from flat planks over 4 ft (121 cm) wide; sub tops, bases and solid divisions between drawers are 5/8 in (16 mm) selected western hemlock lipped with mahogany; while the 3/4 in (19 mm) finish serpentine drawer fronts were made up from nin/32 in (2 mm) gaboon constructional veneers pressed between male and female formers/forms in a screw-press and veneered with striped sapelewood. Drawer sides are 5/16 in (8 mm) English oak, flush drawer bottoms and backs 5/16 in (8 mm) English cedar, also the panelled backs with 2 in (50 mm) by 5/8 in (16 mm) stiles, rails and muntins, and 5/16 in (8 mm) panels mulleted in. The panelled backs are rebated/rabbeted into the carcasses with a flush bead at the meeting edges, and all the drawers have a 1/16 in (1.5 mm) mahogany cock bead. Carcass tops and bottoms are carcass dovetailed, drawer divisions stopped housed/ dadoed into the sides, upright centre division housed and screwed top and bottom. The plinth stool is built up of the same mahogany, with 2 in (50 mm) stump feet and serpentine-shaped rails out of 2!/2 in (63.5 mm) square stock tenoned in. Plinth capping moulding and lower carcass moulding are7/8 in (22 mm) and 3/4 in (19 mm) thick respectively by 21/2 in (63.5 mm) wide stock, mitred and screwed in position, and all the mouldings were handworked throughout with small hollow and round planes shaped in the length to fit the curves. The serpentine shape is shown in outline in 460:4, while 460:5 is the top moulding, 460:6 the lower carcass capping moulding, and 460:8 the plinth moulding. The drawer knobs are turned from kingwood, dowelled in and wedged from the back. It is interesting to note that a second chest made to this design in 1952 and in daily use by the writer is still completely mothproof, as the solid cedar linings have not lost their pungent, aromatic scent.

459 Serpentine-fronted tallboy in African mahogany with drawers veneered in sapelewood and kingwood handles. Designed by Ernest Joyce MSIA. Author's workshop

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