National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Highboy Highboy
Rendered by Francis Borelli (artist), c. 1938
watercolor, colored pencil, and graphite on paperboard
overall: 55.6 x 40.4 cm (21 7/8 x 15 7/8 in.) Original IAD Object: none given
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Furniture from the Index of American Design
Object 15 of 26

Between 1760 and 1770, American highboys became very ornate. The most elaborate pieces came from Philadelphia, which was a center of style and culture and one of the most important American cities both before and after the Revolution. This highboy was made by William Savery, a leading cabinetmaker of Philadelphia. It has a carved scrolled bonnet top; between the scrolls is a lavishly carved design of leaves and tendrils. The quarter columns at the front corners are ornamented with vine carving. Carved designs in the acanthus motif appear on the cabriole legs, and carved shell-like forms ornament the shaped skirting. The elaborate carving, a combination of motifs based upon rhythmically intertwined curves, produces an effect of great decorative richness, characteristic of the fully developed Chippendale style as practiced by the cabinetmakers of Philadelphia.

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