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Sold to a private collector
Blockfront chest of drawers
Attributed to John Cogswell (1738–1818)
Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1760–1780
Mahogany; white pine
H. 31 1/4", W. 33 1/4", D.18 1/4"
Courtesy of Wayne Pratt, Inc.

This chest, of successful visual proportion and scale, is in a wonderful state of preservation, retaining an old finish and original brass hardware. Though the blocked front serves no functional purpose, the extra imported mahogany necessary for its manufacture indicates that these costly pieces were made as status symbols for their wealthy owners.

This magnificent chest is attributed to the Boston cabinetmaker John Cogswell, based on similarities in the construction and design to documented examples of his work now in the collection of Winterthur Museum (see Evans and Richards, New England Furniture at Winterthur [1997], pp. 446-449). Furniture by or attributed to Cogswell illustrates a refinement of outline and attention to detail; it is easy to see why he is still considered one of the finest Boston cabinetmakers.

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