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Chest of Drawers

A work made of soft maple, eastern white pine, faux painted wood-grain.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of soft maple, eastern white pine, faux painted wood-grain.




Attributed to John Dunlap (American, 1746–1792) and/or Samuel Dunlap (American, 1752–1830)
Bedford, Henniker, or Salisbury, New Hampshire

About this artwork

Working in a series of small towns in south-central New Hampshire, brothers John and Samuel Dunlap became two of the most important early cabinetmakers in the state. With a conservatism typical of rural areas, they and their patrons continued to favor Chippendale features in furniture design long after their urban contemporaries had turned to the new Federal mode. The Dunlaps combined these Chippendale elements with their own distinctive forms, developing an individual furniture style. Compared to more urban examples from Portsmouth or Boston, Dunlap pieces like this chest tend to be large, with sharply angled legs, slender ankles, and truncated ball-and-claw feet. This chest also features the Dunlaps’ characteristic painted wood grain, which they used to create the illusion of more exotic wood, such as mahogany.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 167


John Dunlap


Chest of Drawers


New Hampshire


c. 1780–1810


Soft maple, eastern white pine, faux painted wood-grain


96.8 × 99.7 × 50.2 cm (38 1/8 × 39 1/4 × 19 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Vance American Art Fund; restricted gifts of Carol W. Wardlaw, Jamee J. and Marshall Field; Americana Endowment Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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