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Maple Chest of Drawers--Pennsylvania c1830?

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    Posted 6 months ago

    ChicagoAl
    (1 item)

    First time poster here---can't believe I only just found this site!
    This is a chest of drawers I got from my grandparents' house after my grandfather's death (age 96) in 1985. It had been in a guest bedroom I often stayed in from the time I was a baby. I remember back in 1985 there was mention of my grandmother having bought a lot of antique furniture to furnish that house, probably around 1930, and there may even have been a receipt! She might have done so from the Philadelphia or Chester County PA area as that's where my grandfather's Quaker family were from. It's also possible that she bought it locally, in Tennessee, but other furnishings and art from the house were definitely from the Pennsylvania area.
    The chest case is obviously maple with pine drawers. Construction is pretty crude and there have been many repairs including with nails. I have one drawer out as the bottom is detached from the side.
    From what little comparison I've found over the years, this is a 'country' piece of no particular style, likely early 19th C. I have a mirror that used to hang above it, also maple.
    I'll be very interested in anything that anyone can tell me about this!

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    Comments

    1. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 months ago
      It appears to have some different elements of style, but a beautiful creation !~
    2. scottvez scottvez, 6 months ago
      It is a beauty-- love the maple. Especially like the solid maple vs. veneers.

      This style is typically called American Empire and dates from about 1830s- 70s.

      1840s is certainly a reasonable dating.

      Several aspects of your dresser support the early dating of your dresser-- drawer pulls are Sheraton style and the use of full maple boards vs. veneers.

      While not in style right now-- I'd bet this type of furniture has a resurgence.

      It is solid wood and holds up well to rough handling. I have several similar pieces.

      scott
    3. ChicagoAl, 6 months ago
      Thank you, Phil, Bobby, and Scott, for your comments! After posting the pictures here I did some more googling, and finally hit upon the right search terms that led me to some of the same comparisons you posted. I see similar examples of chests called 'Sheraton,' 'Sheraton-Empire,' and 'Empire.' But I think the most important part of the description is 'Country' since this was plainly done by a modestly skilled cabinetmaker, likely literally out in the country, not someone versed in the latest style. The metal drawer pulls may be original (there's no sign of anything previous to them) and they are similar to a smaller one that is on a small single-drawer nightstand of maple and elm that we have, which was in the same room with this dresser at my grandparents'. However the nightstand is a better executed piece and definitely Sheraton. While I can't tell what the early history of these pieces was, I know for a fact that they are approaching their 100th year together!

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