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A Tiger Maple High Chest, with Claw and Ball Feet and Shell, New York, c.1760-80

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In some ways, this high chest, which is often called a highboy, is really more like a chest on chest. Certainly, the lower section, with two long drawers above a set of three smaller is a chest in and of itself. So, our categorization doesn’t always fit the types that were developed during the Colonial period.

Nevertheless, this is a fabulous high chest with a beautiful mellowed orange-brown color that has oxidized nicely through the years and has the full assortment of bells and whistles. Note the strongly carved claw and ball feet, which are typically New York. Also of note are the reeded lam’s tongue quarter columns.

While this chest has New York traits, it probably is a Long Island piece because of the shaped skirt--which is typical Newport--and the shell. This trait alone does not define the piece as Rhode Island work, as there was much trade between Newport and Long Island (and some intermarriage between major households). An example of a Long Island highboy with the Rhode Island shell is illustrated in Dean Faley's Long Island is My Nation.  Note that the illustrated chest has an unsuccessfully wide aspect, however, the relevant discussion is worth reading.

Also shown below, is an advertisement from Antiques magazine, August 1964.

New York Tiger Maple Chests are indeed a rarity, and with the strong claw and ball feet, shell, and fluted lamb’s tongue corners, it is quite a showpiece, albeit with a more country feeling. This high chest is in a fine state of preservation, with no repairs or alterations. The brasses are old but not first.

Height: 70 1/2 in. Depth: 21 in.
Case Width: 36 in. Overall Width: 39 1/2 in.
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