October 21, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Cincinnati


A Scarce Boston Queen Anne High Chest with Inlaid Fans and Compass Roses

American (Boston), ca 1740-50. A Queen Anne high chest in walnut, with white pine secondary, the upper and lower cases decorated with a recessed, inlaid, radiating maple fan, the sides of both cases with inlaid compass roses of maple and birch. The cockbeaded drawer fronts inlaid with string inlay of two fine, parallel lines, with the sides of both the upper and lower cases inlaid in a similar fashion. The bonnet topped by urn and flame finials, appearing to retain their original gilding. The top of the lower case with a chalked inscription Bot by P. Simmons.; ht. 84, wd. 40, dp. 21 in.

This highboy is one of small number of inlaid high chests made in mid-18th century Boston. Jobe (1974:23, Figures 16 and 17) illustrates a similar, but not identical, example from the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur collections, with inlaid fans on the upper and lower case, double line drawer front inlay and elaborate compass roses on the front and sides of the case. Similar compass rose inlay appears on a Queen Anne high chest curated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cowan's gratefully acknowledges important comments made by Brock Jobe, Professor of American Decorative Arts Emeritus, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library relative to this important early high chest.  

Reference: Jobe, Brock

1974 "The Boston Furniture Industry 1720-1740." In Boston Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, Edited by Walter M Whitehall, pp. 3-48. The Colonial Society of Massachusetts.



Provenance:Property from the Estate of Suzanne Rickards


Old, but not original finish. Hood lining replaced. The proper right side of the lower case with an old, and reinforced age split, typical of similar Boston cased pieces. Brasses possibly replaced. Other minor imperfections consistent with age.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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