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Chest of four drawers

Odessa, Delaware



Janvier shop


38 3/4 in x 43 1/8 in x 21 7/8 in


Mahogany; tulip poplar* (drawer sides and backs), white pine (drawer bottoms), hard pine (drawer blades), cherry (drawer guides), sweet gum* (also called red gum, full dustboards, backboards, bottom board)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation

Accession Number



A large chalk oval is drawn on the inside of the 21-inch-wide middle backboard, suggesting that that piece of wood might have been intended for some other use beforehand.

Condition Notes

Two mahogany drawer knobs are replacements.  Numerous splits in the top have been stabilized from below. Some cockbeading and beading along bottom of the case is replaced.


Ex coll Francis Hort Sharp, Miss Margaret Janvier Hort. The chest has a tradition of ownership in the Janvier family.


Provenance and physical features suggest that this chest was made in the Janvier shop, although the individual responsible cannot be determined.  One Janvier feature is use of fine materials.  The mahogany is not only highly figured, but it is used everywhere, not only on the drawer fronts.  Figure in the wood can be seen in the drawer blades above and below the drawers and, most unusual, in the reeded panels of the legs, where the shape of the reeding (and resulting shadows cast by it), not the variegated grain, was the objective.  Drawer construction--notably the abundance of nails across the back edge of the drawer bottom as well as multiple rectangular glue blocks on the sides and front--conforms to Janvier practices.  Yet another indicator is use of sweet (or red) gum as a secondary wood.  The combination of all of these features and the history of ownership weighs in favor of a Janvier shop attribution.


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 97-98.