SPECIAL ADVISORY: In accordance with Yale University’s revised COVID-19 protocols, the Yale University Art Gallery will close to the public beginning Friday, October 16, 2020. Learn More

American Decorative Arts

High chest of drawers


Drawer fronts, front facade, irregular-grained walnut veneer; borders, plain-grain walnut veneer; applied moldings, sides, case, American black walnut; legs, feet, aspen; eastern white pine

58 3/8 × 41 1/8 × 23 7/16 in. (148.2 × 104.5 × 59.6 cm)
other (Upper case): 36 1/8 × 20 11/16 in. (91.7 × 52.6 cm)
other (Lower case): 38 1/16 × 22 1/16 in. (96.7 × 56.1 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
Made in Boston, Massachusetts
18th century

According to Nutting, before 1921 he acquired this high chest "in Boston" and it was "taken to the Webb House, Wethersfield," CT. It apparently was then acquired by dealer Jacob Margolis of New York, who sold it in 1924 to Francis P. Garvan, New York. Gift in 1930 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Wallace Nutting, Furniture of the Pilgrim Century, 1620–1720 (Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1921), 78.

Wallace Nutting, Furniture of the Pilgrim Century 1620–1720 (Framingham, Mass.: Old American Company Publishers, 1924), 136, no. 108.

Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury, 1st ed., 3 vols. (Framingham, Mass.: Old American Company Publishers, 1928–33), no. 330.

Patricia E. Kane, The Seventeenth-Century Furniture of the Connecticut Valley: The Hadley Chest Reappraised, ed. Ian M. G. Quimby (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1975), 108, fig. 25.

Gerald W. R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988), 235, 244–46, 247, no. 126, ill.

Joshua A. Klein, “An Unjustified Mystique: Period Dovetails Up-Close,” Mortise and Tenon Magazine (2016): 112, ill.

Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Inventing Boston: Design, Production, and Consumption (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2019), 96, fig. 10.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.