Philadelphia, PA

Circa 1780

Walnut, white cedar, pine (visual)

H: 76”; W: 47.5”; 22.5”


This chest is an example of the robust, practical and visually appealing  case pieces built by Quaker cabinetmakers in late 18th century Philadelphia. Well-constructed using very fine walnut boards, this chest has survived in remarkable condition due to the care and skill of the original cabinetmaker.

Two inscriptions on the chest indicate that the chest was made originally for Mary Hough Trotter Evans (1743-1803) and descended through her family. Mary Evans, nee Trotter was the sister of the renowned Philadelphia cabinetmaker, Daniel Trotter (1747-1800).

Daniel Trotter was one of the leading cabinetmakers of his era and a contemporary of William Savery, Thomas Affleck, Benjamin Randolphe, Jonathan Gostelowe  and David Evans.  He is discussed at length in Horner’s Blue Book of Philadelphia Furniture.   The principal reference point for attributions of furniture to Daniel Trotter is a group of mahogany pieces commissioned by Stephen Girard (1750-1831) now in the collection of Girard College.


Mary Hough Trotter (1743-1803) to her daughter;

Hannah Bacon Evans (1765-1829) to her son;

William Bacon Evans (1787-1867) to his daughter;

Hannah Evans (1827-1902)


Without a thorough knowledge of the family genealogy, the inscriptions are cryptic and a bit confusing.  An inscription behind a lower drawer of this chest reads: The drawers belonged to Mary Hough sister of Daniel Bacon left by him to her niece Hannah Evans(and of David Bacon) wife of Jon. Evans and belonged to William Evans son of Jonathan and Hannah Evans and belonged to Hannah Evans daughter of William Evans.

A label glued to the lowest drawer of the chest reads:  Belonged to Hannah Evans, wife of Jonathan Evans (d. 1829). Came into possession of Wm. Evans 1839 – and left by will to his daughter Hannah Evans (d. 1902). ERE for RER 1902.

Condition:  The chest survives in outstanding condition with superb structural integrity.   There are minor repairs to several drawer lips and corners and other small repairs commensurate with the chest’s age and use.


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Christopher H. Jones Antiques

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