Chest of Drawers

After designs by Thomas Chippendale, English, 1718 - 1779

Geography:
Made in London, England, Europe

Date:
1754-57

Medium:
Mahogany, oak, pine, ormolu

Dimensions:
33 x 55 x 25 1/2 inches (83.8 x 139.7 x 64.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

* Gallery 278, European Art 1500-1850, second floor

Accession Number:
1941-73-1

Credit Line:
Purchased with the John D. McIlhenny Fund, 1941

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Label:
The design of this chest is based on a plate from Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director (1754).

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    This commode from Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, has long been considered one of the great masterpieces of English eighteenth-century furniture because of its innovative design and fine craftsmanship. It is attributed to Thomas Chippendale on the basis of its close similarity to an engraving of a "French Commode Table" in his Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director of 1754, the high quality of its carving and workmanship, and a construction method that is typical of his work. The attribution is further strengthened by the fact that Chippendale is known to have made furniture for relatives of the Townshends of Raynham Hall and that his son worked for the Townshends themselves. However, because Chippendale did not label his furniture and no bill or other evidence survives, the attribution cannot be definitively confirmed. Sold at auction by the Townshends in the 1920s, the commode was owned successively by two great twentieth-century collectors, the Englishman H. H. Mulliner and the American William Randolph Hearst, who sold it to the Museum in 1941. Julia H. M. Smith, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 139.

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