Thistlethwaite Americana | Block Front Chest of Drawers
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Block Front Chest of Drawers

Boston, Massachusetts
Circa 1760
Mahogany, white pine
Retains original cast brass hardware

A very fine and early carved and figured block front chest probably from Ipswich. Unusual in its small size and delicate, original brass handles and ball and claw feet.

The backboard of the chest is inscribed Stanwood.
The chest probably belonged to Ebenezer Stanwood (1710-1798) of Ipswich MA, a wig maker who built a home at 8 Main Street in Ipswich in 1747. The chest was possibly added to the household at the time of his marriage to Thankful Smith in 1760.

A closely related example from the Henry Ford Museum is illustrated in Comstock’s American Furniture (1962, p.156, no. 297). Also see: Margaretta M. Lovell, “The Blockfront: Its Development in Boston, Newport, and Connecticut,” Fine Woodworking (July–August 1980): 45, fig. 1.

Why we love it:  New England cabinetmakers did chests right. And this one has all the bells and whistles. This is the kind of piece that I dream of holding onto myself.