Rare and important transitional Federal inlaid cherrywood serpentine four drawer chest, with solid top with inlaid edge, above four graduated serpentine drawers with beaded edge and string inlaid and butternut crossbanded border, raised on shaped cutout bracket feet with string inlay and inlaid quarter fans.
School of Nathan Lombard, Sutton, Massachusetts, circa 1800.
35 1/2" high, 40 3/4" wide, 21 1/4" deep.
Provenance: The Descendants of Alexander Hamilton including Helen Bowdoin Spaulding and Alexander Hamilton Spaulding.
With its serpentine form and unusual exuberant inlays, this chest stands as a superb example of the finest furniture produced in rural Massachusetts in the early 19th century. Construction details and the flamboyant inlaid decoration closely relate to a well-documented group of chests attributed to the workshop of Nathan Lombard (1777-1847), working near Sutton, Massachusetts by 1802. The treatment of the drawer fronts, with thick vertical cherry veneers, banding, light and dark chevron stringing, and applied cockbeading, as well as the distinctive exaggerated inlaid shaped bracket feet, all correspond to examples discussed in Jobe and Pearce, Sophistication in Rural Massachusetts: The Inlaid Cherry Furniture of Nathan Lombard.
This chest differs from many other examples in that the top dovetailed directly to the case sides, rather than being attached to horizontal blades dovetailed into the case sides from the top. Vertical glue blocks in the case and on the base reflect similar treatment as documented examples.
A serpentine chest sharing these characteristics, also attributed to Lombard and signed by Ebenezer Howard (1781-1854) of Sturbridge, sold at Sotheby's New York, Important Americana on 1/21/11 having previously achieved a record price for an example of Lombard furniture when sold at Skinner, American Furniture and Decorative Arts on 10/24/99.
A detailed Condition Statement is available upon request.
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