National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Chest of Drawers Chest of Drawers
Rendered by Ferdinand Cartier (artist), c. 1939
watercolor, colored pencil, pen and ink on paperboard
overall: 54.8 x 62.5 cm (21 9/16 x 24 5/8 in.) Original IAD Object: 40 13/16"high; 43 5/16"wide; 18 1/16"deep.
Index of American Design
1943.8.4699
Not on View
From the Tour: Furniture from the Index of American Design
Object 19 of 26

Although carved decoration appears in Hepplewhite design, most Hepplewhite furniture is ornamented with inlays of contrasting woods which emphasize the graceful, sleek lines of the form. This bow-front chest of drawers illustrates the handsome effect achieved through contrasting veneers of richly figured mahogany and satinwood. The tiers of side drawers are ornamented with finely wrought fan inlays at the corners, and each drawer is further delineated by two narrow lines of inlay, called "stringing," in contrasting wood. The curve of the chest front is emphasized by the light color of the central section of drawers; an inlaid oval medallion highlights the top drawer. The inlay shows the American eagle, a decorative motif favored by the patriotic citizens of the newly formed republic.

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