Skip to main content
Search the Collection

Miniature chest of three drawers

Odessa, Delaware



Janvier Shop


15 5/8 in x 17 1/4 in x 11 in


Walnut, lightwood stringing; tulip poplar (drawer sides, dustboards, case bottom), white cedar (drawer bottoms)

Credit Line

On loan from Winterthur

Accession Number



“Mamie F. Janvier” and other illegible inscriptions are in pencil on the underside of the top drawer; “Mary E. (Robeson) Janvier” is in pencil on the outside back of the middle drawer.

Condition Notes

The top two keyholes exhibit repairs. An unnecessary hole below the bottom drawer keyhole may have been for a center pull. The existing pulls are later.


Ex coll. Miss Margaret Janvier Hort. The miniature chest descended in the Janvier family, probably from Hort’s mother, Martha Robeson Janvier (1866–1950), and her mother, Mary Robeson Janvier (1832–1920). See the text for further provenance.


This miniature chest, which probably stood on a larger chest of drawers or a table, descended in the Janvier family and displays earmarks of their cabinetry.  Without the strong provenance, however, those physical features are not adequate to identify Janvier work to the exclusion of other furniture makers from the Mid-Atlantic region.

The drawer fronts have scratch-beaded edges, a detail that imitates cockbeading--a separate thin strip of wood applied around the drawer front edges, usually to protect veneer edges.  The keyhole in the bottom drawer is faux.  The hole visible below indicates the one-time presence of a brass or wood pull, and the keyholes in the drawers above exhibit repairs.  This evidence indicates that the present pulls are additions.  Originally, the upper drawers were opened with a key only and the lower drawer with the now missing pull in the center.


Hotchkiss, “Odessa Furniture Returns,” 103.

Hotchkiss, “Wilson-Warner House,” 889, pl. VII.

Norcini, “John Janvier, Sr.,” pl. IV.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 106-107.