Chest of Drawers, Ball Foot, Confidently Attributed to John Head

Philadelphia, PA

Chest of Drawers, Ball Foot, Confidently Attributed to John Head, Image 1

A fine and rare William and mary chest of drawers attributed to John Head (1688-1754) active 1717-1754) who was probably Philadelphia's most prominent cabinet maker working prior to 1750. Seven generations of Head's descendants preserved his account book which is the earliest known record by any cabinetmaker in colonial British North America. The manuscript is on view within the library of the American Philosophical Society.

Slightly projecting rectangular top featuring applied cove molding above the case containing two short drawers over three graduated long drawers above a molded base, the case is raised on compressed ball-turned feet.

Attributes common to the shop production of John Head:

- Use of half dovetails exposing rabbeted bottom boards when viewed from side.
- Dovetails and bottom boards extending beyond backboards.
- Front interior drawer facing showing kerf marks caused by quick cutting of dovetail pins.
- Chalk assembly marks on drawer backs unique to the Head shop.

Date: 1720-1740

Measurement: Height: 39.75"; width: 39.5"; depth: 21.5"

Material: Walnut, hard pine drawer sides, Atlantic white cedar drawer bottoms, brass hardware

Condition: Excellent, original hardware, old and wonderful surface