A highly important Chippendale mahogany block front chest of drawers, attributed to Benjamin Frothingham Jr., Charlestown, Massachusetts, circa 1760.
This sophisticated block front chest of drawers has both superb proportions and a very desirable diminutive size. The chest is constructed from high quality dense mahogany with rich figuring that retains a pleasing old color and mellow surface. The extravagance of block furniture was only afforded by Boston’s wealthy elite and consequently this chest exhibits the superlative qualities of a first rate cabinetmaker. An almost identical chest has been identified in the Historic New England collection. That matching blocked chest was produced for the prominent Otis family of Boston by the shop of Benjamin Frothingham Jr. and is part of a lager group of documented furniture from his workshop. Frothingham [1734-1809] was born the son of a joiner in Boston and removed to Charlestown some time around 1755. His shop flourished for over fifty years until his death and a variety of signed or label examples of his work are documented. The rectangular molded overhanging top has a rounded blocked front, conforming with the lower chest of drawers. The case is comprised of four graduated blocked front long drawers each with bead molded drawer dividers and surrounds. The richly figured drawer fronts are mounted with original Chippendale brass pulls and matching lock escutcheons. The conforming step molded skirt joins four well proportioned bracket feet with shaped returns. The layout of the moldings and form of the feet and returns are identical to several pieces attributed to Frothingham’s shop. The narrow vertical portion of the foot, the rounded bracket and return have precisely the same profile. This consistency of form indicates the repeated use of a single pattern template within his shop. The exceptionally small size of the piece and the highly original state of condition, combine to make this a highly important example of Boston block front furniture.
Case width 31 5/8”; Case depth 20”; Height 30 1/4”; Top width 35 3/4”; Top depth 21”
Call (781) 828-1650 or E-mail us for questions or pricing on this item. Please reference inventory number 12025.