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Base for a high chest

Delaware Valley and environs



25 3/4 in x 41 1/4 in x 22 3/4 in


Walnut; tulip poplar (back board, drawer sides), white cedar (drawer bottom)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



“WILLIAM CORBIT 1771” is engraved into a brass plaque in the center back edge of the top board.  An illegible signature is on the inside of the left drawer side.  The interior drawer corners are numbered with paired numbers from 1 to 4, representing assembly numbers written by the maker as he fitted each of the two boards joined by dovetails.

Condition Notes

The knee brackets are missing from the front feet (evidence for a single nail hole for each is on the underside of the skirt).  The front feet are damaged.  The brasses are replacements.  A wood side-to-side divider has been added to the inside of the drawer.  The top board is a later addition to fill the space of the absent upper case.


Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner


The low table with a drawer is the base to a high chest, such as the one also bearing a similar brass plaque, accession no. 1971.627.  A walnut board has been cut to the inside dimensions of the waist moldings, 38-3/8 inches by 21-1/4 inches, which represent the dimensions of the original upper case of drawers, now missing.  The scalloped skirt is especially complex.  The complete absence of glue blocks on the undersides of the drawer bottom, which slides in grooves cut into the drawer sides, indicates that this high chest base has no relationship to furniture made by the Janviers of Odessa, although its provenance suggests it was owned in Odessa.  As with a few other pieces of furniture at Historic Odessa, it may have come originally from southern Chester County.