Chest of Drawers
Cherry with White Oak secondary
Light and Dark Wood Inlays
Upper Ohio River Valley
Circa 180043″ H, 42″ W, 21.5″ D
This chest of drawers is extensively inlaid with string inlay on drawer fronts top edge and skirt. It also has “bookend” inlays on the tops of the stiles with a distinctive vine and leaf inlays on the stile bases. The chest’s foot and skirt appear to relate to a slant top desk # 45 in Kentucky Furniture, J. B. Speed Art Museum, 1974.
Descended in the family of Edna Talbott Whitley a widely-known, highly-regarded decorative arts historian and the author of Kentucky Ante-Bellum Portraiture and A Checklist of Kentucky Cabinet Makers from 1775 to 1859. Mrs. Whitley’s name was placed on an honor roll by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
While a Kentucky attribution could be argued based on the Whitley association, research thus far has not placed the chest’s inlay within a known Kentucky group. The inlay and overall form certainly relate to other known Kentucky examples but the same can be said for chests with histories in now West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and western Maryland within the valley of the upper Ohio River. Hence our broad attribution to this area pending additional research discoveries.