The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 2, 2024

Chest-on-Chest

Chest-on-Chest

c. 1800
Overall: 235 x 108.6 x 62.3 cm (92 1/2 x 42 3/4 x 24 1/2 in.)

Description

Block-fronted case furniture-that is, pieces with façades that vary in the plane of their relief by extending forward at the sides and receding in the center-decorated with carved shell ornaments, has long been among the most admired of 18th-century American furniture. The sophisticated examples of such pieces were presumed to have been made in Newport, Rhode Island, particularly by members of the Townsend and Goddard families. However, recent scholarship convincingly hypothesizes that some of the finest pieces of this type of furniture were, in fact, made in Providence, Rhode Island-many of them, such as this chest, for members of the Brown family, inhabitants of that city. This piece was probably made for either Nicholas Brown (1729-1791) or, more likely, his son Nicholas Brown Jr. (1769-1841). The museum's chest-on-chest can be related stylistically and technically to other Providence pieces, but it is not yet clear who made them. Members of two cabinetmaking families, the Carliles and the Rawsons, are among the most likely candidates.
  • Moselle Taylor Meals, Beachwood (purchased at auction in 1972).
    Advertised at auction by Florene Maine in 1969.
    Sold by Honorable Mrs. C.D.L. Pepys, Newport and England.
    Inherited from Sophia Augusta Brown Sherman (Mrs. Watts Sherman), Newport and New York.
  • Kane, Patricia E. Art & Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830. New Haven, CT: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016. Reproduced: P. 321, no. 63
  • Year in Review, 1976. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 1-March 6, 1977).
    Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT (organizer) (August 19, 2016-January 8, 2017).
    Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT (8/19/2016 – 1/8/2017): "Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830"
  • {{cite web|title=Chest-on-Chest|url=false|author=|year=c. 1800|access-date=02 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1976.170