Chest of four drawers
Probably Delaware or nearby Maryland
38-3/8 in x 41 in x 22-3/4 in
Mahogany; tulip poplar (drawer bottoms), sweet gum (also called red gum, drawer sides), hard pine (drawer blades, case bottom, and one drawer side).
Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.
“WJ” is stamped into the brass bails.
The front 1-1/4 inches of the curved front edge of the top is a lamination, which is probably original but may be a repair. The brasses appear to be replacements in original holes. The bail posts are inserted at a slight angle to allow them to fit.
Bequest of Dr. and Mrs. J. Newberry Reynolds to The David Wilson Mansion, Inc., in 1942.
The bow-front chest has a top with a molded edge and four graduated drawers with mahogany veneers on laminated drawer fronts that appear to be made out of sweet gum or possibly tulip poplar. They have cock-beaded edges. The case is chamfered and fluted in the front corners. It stands on ogee bracket feet. Drawer blades are veneered in front and slotted in the back for dustboards, which are now absent. Three horizontal tongue-and-groove backboards are nailed in rabbets. The case top slides into place on half-dovetail-shaped tongues cut into the tops of the case sides.
Several small construction features suggest a tie of some kind to the Janvier shop in Odessa: The chest top attaches by half-dovetail-shaped tongues cut into the tops of the case sides; the front feet splay outward slightly, which is noticeable in placement of the central leg block; drawer sides are made of sweet gum; and drawer bottoms have glue blocks along the side and front edges (although not as many as in documented Janvier work) and many nails across the back edge. The style of chamfer on the front corners of the case is unrelated to documented Janvier work and suggests possible Maryland furniture.