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American Decorative Arts

Buffet or Corner Cupboard


American black walnut; shell laminations, backboards of upper case, drawer bottom, other elements, Atlantic white cedar; drawer sides and backs, bottom, other elements, southern yellow pine; backboards of lower case, other elements, yellow poplar

96 3/16 × 50 3/16 × 19 in. (244.3 × 127.5 × 48.3 cm)
other (Case): 44 3/8 in. (112.7 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
Made in Delaware Valley
Possibly made in Salem, New Jersey
18th century

According to statements published when this buffet was first offered for sale in 1924, it came from the "Johnson House" in Salem, NJ, although it was believed to be of Philadelphia manufacture. The house in question may have been the Robert Gibbon Johnson house on Market Street in Salem, built in 1806, although there were several owned in 1924 by dealer Renwick C. Hurry, New York, and was purchased in 1929 from Israel Sack, New York, by Francis P. Garvan, New York. Gift in 1931 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


“Antiquarian,” Antiquarian 3, no. 4 (November 1924): 36.

“The Antiquarian’s Picture Gallery,” Antiquarian 9, no. 1 (August 1927): 39, ill.

Edward Wenham, The Collector’s Guide to Furniture Design (New York: Collector’s Press Lithography Workshop, 1928), 104, fig. 266.

Walter A. Dyer, “American Corner Cupboards: 1710–1810,” Fine Arts 1, no. 20 (May 1933): 25, ill.

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), 404–5, no. 208, ill.

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.