Rare Paint Decorated Chest of Drawers by Samuel Dunlap of New Hampshire

American (New Hampshire), ca 1795-1810. A chest of drawers in cherry with white pine secondary, dry, untouched vinegar painting on the case, the top with a red wash. Having a dovetailed and step molded cornice, above three aligned and five graduated lap molded dovetailed drawers with brass pulls, having a shaped skirt and sides, all rising on tapered legs; ht. 52.25, wd. 40, dp. 19.75. Signed in chalk below the right-hand upper drawer Samuel Dunlap along with other indecipherable inscriptions. 

This chest is one of a handful of signed Samuel Dunlap (1752-1830) case pieces, including a desk sold at Pook and Pook from The Estate of Marion and Donald Woelbing, April 25 2014, Lot 24. Stylistically, this chest was likely produced in Dunlap's Salisbury shop, sometime between 1795-1810 after he left Henniker, New Hampshire in 1787 (Philip Zea, Personal Communication August 28, 2018). 

Includes several letters and photographs exchanged between Graeter, Samaha, Philip Zea of Historic Deerfield, and Don Finnemore of Winterthur Museum and Gardens. The chest is not illustrated in either Parsons, The Dunlaps and Their Furniture (1970) or in Zea's more recent The Dunlap Cabinetmakers: A Tradition in Craftsmanship (1997).  

Provenance:Ex, William Samaha, Milan, OhioEx. John Graeter, Georgetown, Ohio


The three aligned drawers have been  cleaned of the old varnished surface.  Drawer glides replaced, a break and repair to front left leg. Most of original glue blocks are present. 

Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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