Mahogany, poplar, white cedar
H: 97”; W: 44”; D: 23”
Signed on the top board of the base section, Jonathan Shoemaker (1726-1793). This mahogany double chest has an elaborate shell and foliate C-scroll carved central drawer, fluted corner columns and carved finials and rosettes.
This double chest is the only surviving signed example of Jonathan Shoemaker’s work. Shoemaker was a third generation woodworker, beginning with immigrant Jacob, Sr. who moved to Philadelphia circa 1715 from Germantown. In 1722 he willed his “Tools belonging to the Trades of Turning and Wheel Making” to his son, Jacob, Jr. His son ,Jonathan, the maker of this chest, was working as a joiner by 1750 and two years later had a shop on the west side of Second Street. In 1767 he moved to Third Street near Arch.
A drawing of this double chest survives from Shoemaker’s apprentice, Samuel Mickle (1746-1830) from his book of drawings dated 1765. There can be no doubt that the drawing references this chest as the measurements and form are identical.
Literature: Minardi, “Philadelphia Furniture, and the Pennsylvania Germans”, American Furniture 2013, figs 58 and 59; pp.231-232.
Condition: Original brass. Partial restoration to finials. Small replacements to carved streamers on cartouche. 3” of the front and side foot facings on the front feet are replaced.