National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Tulip and Sunflower Chest Tulip and Sunflower Chest
Rendered by Harold Merriam (artist), 1936
watercolor, pen and ink, and graphite on paper
overall: 64.3 x 47.2 cm (25 5/16 x 18 9/16 in.) Original IAD Object: 36 3/4" high; 37 1/2" wide; 24" deep
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Furniture from the Index of American Design
Object 1 of 26

Furniture in the Jacobean style was made in America from about 1640 to about 1690. Pieces such as this chest were the work of the joiner, or carpenter, for cabinetmaking had not yet evolved as a specialty. Simple rectangular construction was the rule. During the seventeenth century, drawers were added to the box form of early chests, and the form evolved gradually into the chest of drawers as we know it today. Chest fronts were often divided into panels that were architectural in character. Frequently the panels were carved in shallow foliate designs, as seen on this late seventeenth-century oak chest. In addition to carving them, the seventeenth-century craftsman embellished his products with turning, that is, with bulbous shapes turned on a lathe. Turnings, split in half and painted black, were frequently applied between carved panels on chests, as has been done here.

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