Lot 365: Important Charleston South Carolina Double Chest of Drawers
December 2, 2016
Hillsborough, NC, USALive Auction
circa 1760 -1770s, mahogany veneers with solid mahogany below the drawer fronts, bald cypress secondary wood, two part form with a desk drawer. The dovetailed upper case has a stepped cove-molded cornice above an applied Doric dentil molding (loss of one tooth to rt. side) above a carved applied figure-eight fretwork frieze, three over two over three cock-beaded drawers, each with full dust boards, are flanked by stop fluted quarter columns.
The dove-tailed lower case has applied molding on three sides over a pull-out desk drawer with original cyma sides, but with loss to the original interior, the cock-beaded drawers have 3/4 dust boards, raised on original ogee bracket feet. A wood identification report from Alden Identification Service accompanies lot.
76.75 x WOA 44.5 x 25 in. Case depth 22.75 in. and case width 40 in.
Featured in the following publication:
Bradford L. Rauschenberg, John Bivins, Jr., The Furniture of Charleston, 1680-1820, Volume I: Colonial Furniture, (The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, 2003), p. 146, Fig. CC-32, MESDA Reference File: 28,780.
From the estate of Wilmot and Charles Haskell Gibbs of Charleston, SC. Consignor's paternal grandmother was Anne Simmons Ball Gibbs (1880-1946), daughter of Anne Hume Simons Ball (1857-1914) and John Coming Ball (1848-1926). Descendants of Benjamin Simmons (d.1772), who built Middleburg Plantation in Berkeley County, the oldest wooden plantation still standing in South Carolina, the chest has descended in the family to the consignor.
While listed as having descended through the Hall family in the Biven's literature, the correct listing of the family is Ball. Additional genealogy is available at the Gallery.
Upper Case: the fretwork frieze has been moved from the sides to the front due to a later pediment added, now replaced with a proper front cornice.
Chips and losses upper right cornice; center upper drawer has a patch above the lock, lacking lock; the second row left drawer has a corner patch; upper two rows of drawers with patches from earlier pulls; uppermost long drawer has cut and patch below one pull; all runners replaced; drawer guides replaced while retaining most of the original stops. Lower Case: has no pull patches; scattered small patches and cock-beading repairs throughout; hairline to rear right foot; rear foot braces replaced.
All brass pulls replaced; back boards have later nails amongst original wrought nails; the upper full length back board had been previously removed, and if again removed, would reveal a cavity behind the frieze.