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Jonathan Prown and Richard Miller
The Rococo, the Grotto, and the Philadelphia High Chest

American Furniture 1996

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    High chest of drawers, Philadelphia, 1762–1775. Mahogany with yellow pine, tulip poplar. H. 99", W. 45 1/2", D. 25". (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1918, 18.110.6 All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    High chest of drawers, Philadelphia, 1740–1750. Walnut with cedar and gum. H. 96 1/4", W. 43", D. 23 1/8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Bureau with cabinet, Germany, probably Dresden, ca. 1750. Kingwood; mother-of-pearl, ivory, brass, ormolu mounts. H. 107 1/2", W. 50", D. 29 1/8". (Courtesy, Victoria and Albert Museum.) www.vam.ac.uk

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Slab table with carving attributed to Hercules Courtenay, Philadelphia, 1765–1775. Mahogany and marble. H. 32", W. 54", D. 27". (Courtesy, Rhode Island School of Design, bequest of Charles L. Pendleton.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Mme. Guimard, Paris, 1769. Oil on canvas. (Courtesy, Louvre Museum, Cliché des Musées Nationaux, Paris; photo, Giraudon/Art Resource, New York.)    

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Francois Boucher, Hercules and Omphale, Paris, ca. 1731–1734. Oil on canvas. (Courtesy, Pushkin Fine Art Museum, Moscow; photo, Scala/Art Resource, New York.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Swing, Paris, 1767. Oil on canvas. (©By kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London)

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Salon de la Princesse, Hotel de Soubise, Germain Boffrand, Paris, 1735. (Giraudon/Art Resource, New York.)

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9
    Castello, villa near Florence, Italy, grotto before 1550. (Courtesy, Dr. Naomi Miller.)
  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    La Bastie d’Urfé, Forez, Italy, grotto 1551. (Courtesy, Dr. Naomi Miller.)

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Sacra Bosco, Bormazo, Italy, ca. 1550–1570. (Courtesy, G. Putnam and Co., New York.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Jean Mondon, Le Galand Chasseur, Paris, 1736. Engraving on paper. (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harry Brisbane Dick Fund, 1930, 30.58.2(65). All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Gottlieb Leberecht Crusius, Capriccio, Germany, 1762. (Courtesy, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Kunstbibliothek, Berlin; photo, Marburg/Art Resource, New York.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Center ornament from a high chest of drawers, Philadelphia, 1760–1768. Mahogany. H. 11 3/8". (Courtesy, Philadelphia Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Jacobus Lutma, Festivities (from a twelve-part series), Holland, 1654. Illustrated in Rudolph Berliner and Gerhart Egger, Ornamentale Vorlagebläter (Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1981), fig. 1006.

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Jacobus Lutma, Festivities (from a twelve-part series), Holland, 1654. Illustrated in Rudolph Berliner and Gerhart Egger, Ornamentale Vorlagebläter (Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1981), fig. 1005.

  • Figure 17a
    Figure 17a

    Adam van Vianen, tazza, Utrecht, 1618. Silver. (Courtesy, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.)

  • Figure 17b
    Figure 17b

    Adam van Vianen, tazza, Utrecht, 1618. Silver. (Courtesy, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Juste-Aurèle Meissonier, title page from Livre d’Ornemens, Paris, 1734. (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1930, 30.58.2(136), All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Engraving from Braccelli di varie Égure di Givovanbattista Braccelli, Livorno, Italy, 1624. (Courtesy, Library of Congress.)

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Salvador Dali, Le Cabinet Anthropomorphique, ca. 1935. Bronze. L. 24". (Photograph Courtesy of Sotheby’s, Inc. ©2002)

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    André Groult, high chest of drawers, Paris, ca. 1935. H. 59", W. 27 7/16", D. 12 7/16". (Courtesy, Claude Boisgirard Auctioneer.)

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    High chest of drawers, Philadelphia, 1762–1775. Mahogany and mahogany veneer with yellow pine, tulip poplar, and white cedar. H. 97 3/4", W. 44 1/4", D. 25 1/2". (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1918, 18.110.60a,b. All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Berea Masonic Lodge No. 114, A.F. & A.M., Gloucester, Virginia, ca. 1950.

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Detail of the carving on a high chest of drawers, Philadelphia, 1765–1775. (Chipstone Foundation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Detail of the carving on a high chest of drawers, Philadelphia, 1763–1768. (Courtesy, Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.)

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Detail of the carving on a dressing table, Philadelphia, 1750–1760. (Courtesy, Art Institute of Chicago, gift of the Antiquarian Society through the Jessie Spalding Landon Fund.)

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Georgia O’Keeffe, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, No. IV, 1930. Oil on canvas. (Courtesy, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, bequest of Georgia O’Keffe.)

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    High chest by Henry Clifton and Thomas Carteret (cabinetmakers), Philadelphia, 1753. Mahogany with yellow pine, tulip poplar, and white cedar. H. 96", W. 45", D. 22 1/2". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Francois Boucher, Two Nudes, Paris, ca. 1759. Black chalk drawing on paper. (©The Frick Collection, New York; photo, courtesy Colin Bailey.)

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Storming the Citadel, Paris, ca. 1771–1773. (©The Frick Collection, New York.)

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    William Hogarth, Analysis of Beauty, Plate I, London, 1753; reissued, ca. 1835 by James Heath. (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    High chest of drawers, Philadelphia, 1755–1790. Mahogany and mahogany veneer with yellow pine, tulip poplar, and white cedar. H. 91 3/4", W. 44 5/8", D. 24 5/8". (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1918, 18.110.4, All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Detail of the carving on the lower drawer of the high chest illustrated in fig. 32.

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Trattati di archittetura ingegneria e arte militare, Italy, sixteenth century. (Courtesy, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.)

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Drawing based on a sketch for a pilaster base in the Medici Chapel by Michelangelo, Florence, Italy, 1519–1534. Original sketch at Casa Buonarroti, Florence.

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Hughes Sambin, female term from Oeuvre de la Diversité des Termes, 1572. (Courtesy, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Univeristy.)

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    High chest of drawers, Philadelphia, ca. 1755. Illustrated in Edgar G. Miller, American Antique Furniture, 2 vols. (Baltimore, Md.: Lord Baltimore Press, 1937), 1:377, fig. 664.

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    High chest of drawers, New England, ca. 1750. (Courtesy of Sack Heritage Group.) www.sackheritagegroup.com

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    High chest of drawers, Preston area of Connecticut, 1770–1790. Cherry, birch, and maple with yellow poplar, chestnut, white pine, and oak. H. 82 3/4", W. 39", D. 19 7/8". (Courtesy, Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.)

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Charles Willson Peale, Nancy Hallam in Cave Scene from Cymbaline, Annapolis, Maryland, 1771. Oil on canvas. 50" x 40 1/4". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Female figure, central Tanzania, ca. 1900. (Photograph Courtesy of Sotheby’s, Inc. ©2002).