3-drawer Empire chest






Details are Empire, construction isn’t at all typical of Empire.  Cherry primary wood is light in color, suggesting Pennsylvania or further north.  Sides are 1″ thick white pine, drawers have cherry fronts with properly dovetailed poplar sides and roughly planed bottom.  Back is ½” white pine with very heavy circular saw marks.  Original finish appears to be shellac, dissolves with denatured alcohol.  Mushroom knobs are replacements, Philippine mahogany.  Simple, elegant, utilitarian.

Nutting doesn’t offer much on furniture of this type (there’s one Empire chest of drawers in his entire book).  Pieces commonly referred to as American Empire are typically a frame construction.  Heavy posts, 2″x 2″ or more in section, with turned feet, mortised and tenoned rails, and captured panels.  Hallmarks are mushroom knobs, turned feet, and wide tail/narrow pin drawer joinery.

https://michaellangford.org/2013/01/24/283/   for more on American Empire.  I have found scant historical information on the type.  If you have anything to contribute, please contact me.

About michaellangford2012

Timber framer, boatbuilder, dreamer, writer, musician; collector of books, tools, aphorisms. "There is nothing, absolutely nothing…half so much worth doing…as simply messing about in boats."
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