Chest of Drawers, about 1820
Attributed to Isaac Vose & Son, Boston (active 1819–25)
Mahogany (secondary woods: chestnut, mahogany, pine and poplar, partially ebonized), ormolu and gilt-brass mounts, and die-rolled gilt-brass moldings filled with lead
37 in. high, 44 in. wide, 23 7/8 in. deep
Inscribed (on the screw back of most of the knobs, as seen from inside the drawers): BARRONS / PATENT
For reasons that remain inexplicable, certain forms of furniture that were extremely popular in England and France during the Regency/Empire period were apparently rarely made in the United States. The three or four drawer chest, for example, was one of the staples of furniture production in France during the Restauration/Charles X period, but extremely few examples of this form appear to have been made by the leading cabinetmakers in the major design centers in the United States. Two examples by Charles-Honoré Lannuier have been recorded, and this handsome chest is one of but fewer than a half-dozen Boston pieces of this form that have come to light. A derivation of a typical French form, this chest has three drawers plus a fourth upper drawer typically projecting beyond the three. The ormolu caps and bases and the central mount on the top drawer are of the best French quality of the period. The gilt-brass knobs are marked “barrons patent,” and are thus of English origin, as are the die-stamped gilt-brass moldings filled with lead that encircle the ebonized bun feet, which themselves are an important earmark of Boston furniture of this period.