Rare Chippendale Dressing Table
Attributed to John Elliot (w. 1753-1760).
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ca. 1760.
Figured walnut; secondary woods, poplar, yellow pine, Atlantic white cedar.
Over-all in fine condition, restoration to the top lip and lower left edge of lower center drawer.
Period brass hardware, replaced.
Provenance: Irving Sands Olds (1887-1963), New York; De-accessioned, New York Historical Society.
This rare and unique Dressing Table, having an exceptional figured walnut top with a molded edge and notched corners over-hanging a case fitted with a long drawer over three smaller drawers flanked by canted fluted columns, exhibits great form in a compact size.
Catalogue notes from Important Americana, Sotheby’s, New York:
With its skirt ornamented with a concave shell topped with a spray of three leaves, this dressing table relates to a group of surviving high chests and dressing tables that have been associated to both Maryland and Pennsylvania. The nearest example is a dressing table that descended in the Hollingsworth Morris family from Philadelphia.1
A high chest that belonged to the Mifflin family in the collection of the U.S. Department of State and another in the collection of Historic Odessa Foundation in the Corbit-Sharp House have a very similar concave shells and skirt profiles.2
Two other case pieces are known that have related skirt profiles and shells but their legs are carved with acanthus leaves and their shells are more fully lobed. The first is a high chest in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art that has historically been associated to Maryland due to its discovery on the eastern shore.3
The last is a dressing table in the Bayou Bend collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.4
1 William Macpherson Hornor, Jr, Blue book, Philadelphia Furniture: William Penn to George Washington, (Philadelphia, PA: Hornor, 1935), pl. 66 and Guy Bush advertisement, Magazine Antiques (October 1986) 569.
2 Clement E. Conger and Mary K. Itsell, Treasures of State: Fine and Decorative arts in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State, editor Alexandra W. Rollins, (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1991), pp. 90-2, no. 10.
3 William Voss Elder III and Jayne E. Stokes, American Furniture, 1680-1880, from the Collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art, (Baltimore, MD: The Museum, 1987), pp. 74-5, no. 50.
4 David B. Warren, Michael K. Brown, Elizabeth Ann Coleman, and Emily Ballew Neff, American Decorative arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection, (Houston, TX: Museum of Fine Arts; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998), p. 79, no. F130.
Dimensions: 28 ¾”h, 35”w, 28 1/8”d
Item ID: F-T 274