Chest of Drawers
Piedmont North Carolina, 1775-1800
Black walnut with yellow pine and tulip poplar
Catalog no. 116

This tall chest of drawers has certain structural and stylistic similarities with a desk and bookcase made by Peter Scott in Williamsburg, ca. 1765 (see Catalog no. 138). Yet particular chest of drawers form was not made by Scott or any other Williamsburg furniture maker. Instead, the similarities between the two pieces suggests the movement of the Scott style deep into the North Carolina Piedmont. Almost certainly made by an artisan who was trained by or worked with Scott and then moved west and south, the chest displays a number of startling similarities to Scott-attributed work. The carved legs and feet echo Scott's uncommon design, as do the molding profiles. A number of key structural features are repeated as well. For example, the legs on both pieces are attached to the case with large square flush-nailed blocks, and the drawers exhibit similar glue block patterns.

In the decades after the Revolution, numbers of Tidewater residents moved to western Virginia and north central North Carolina. Artisans followed this migration in search of new opportunities. The object seen here is a reminder of that movement.