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Decorative Arts and Design

MEDIUM Ebonized cherry, other woods, modern marble top, brass
  • Place Manufactured: New York, New York, United States
  • DATES ca. 1880
    DIMENSIONS 30 1/16 x 52 1/16 x 22 in. (76.4 x 132.2 x 55.9 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Stamped "HERTER BRO'S" on center top back. In script on top below marble: N1256" "Mills Esq". In pencil on back interior upper proper left "3 3/4" and "L" (?) in script on center back interior above support for narrow drawer and below support in script "Ober" (German for "above"). Bottom of large top drawer in large script "1". Bottom of middle large drawer in large script "2" plus four smaller '2" . (Other drawer bottom not marked).
    SIGNATURE no signature
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    CREDIT LINE Modernism Benefit Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Low chest-of-drawers, inlaid ebonized cherry. Elaborate inlay in Japanesque taste. One narrow drawer disguised in the frieze, three larger drawers of equal size below. The continuous frieze below the stepped top molding stretches around sides and front with rounded corners. Inlaid floral wood decoration has repeat of fourteen inches and consists of a flower, two bamboo shoots, another flower, two different bamboo shoots, a third flower disposed horizontally. There is a narrow pair of incised and gilt lines above and below the frieze. Interior of this drawer fitted with two small compartments in either front corner and a long compartment, center front, divided by shaped cedar dividers. Two squared U-shape brass handles secured with brass quatrefoil brackets secured with prominent half-round screws. Square, flat-face reeded stiles extend from below frieze and terminate in square flared feet. Three large equal sized drawers are set in below over hanging top narrow drawer. Three drawer fronts are divided unequally vertically with larger central section by reeded black wood bands. Side sections of middle large drawer have inlaid footed vase with large pendants at ears and band of stylized flowers below rim of vase. Six bamboo stems grow out of each vase and spread out over entire front of drawers with a dense symmetrical design with flowers and bamboo shoots. An inlaid horizontal light- wood horizontal narrow band extends across upper part of top large drawer as a trellis over which the meandering plants loop. Pair of glass pulls identical to those on top on each large drawer. Squared brass escutcheons with rounded corners around keyholes at center of each drawer. Below frieze on either side of cabinet is a vertical asymmetrical panel with meandering bamboo shoots and flowers, framed by incised and reeded gilt borders. White Imperial Danby marble top replaced after acquisition. Chest arrived with associated, later black marble top with gold and white veins, shaped edge, highly polished. CONDITION - Very good original condition. Some fading of ebonized stain. Interiors of large drawers are very bright and high finish; probably cleaned and refinished. In frieze on either side are two screw holes. Marble replaced. Brass handles tarnished.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Herter Brothers (American, 1865–1905). Chest-of-Drawers, ca. 1880. Ebonized cherry, other woods, modern marble top, brass, 30 1/16 x 52 1/16 x 22 in. (76.4 x 132.2 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Modernism Benefit Fund, 1989.69. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.69_front_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 1989.69_front_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    Herter Brothers (American, 1865–1905). <em>Chest-of-Drawers</em>, ca. 1880. Ebonized cherry, other woods, modern marble top, brass, 30 1/16 x 52 1/16 x 22 in. (76.4 x 132.2 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Modernism Benefit Fund, 1989.69. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.69_front_PS20.jpg)