The rarest of all lowboys and perhaps most beautiful, are the Japanned lowboys and highboys that came out of Boston in the mid 18th century. Several of the major museums in the country have examples of this school and this piece was deaccessioned from the museum of the City of New York. Japanning is very fragile, and this piece probably flaked so badly, its former owner had it stripped and mahoganized. The top also was probably flaking and warping badly, so a new top was installed. This was done a long time ago, so a fine, pleasing craquelature developed over the case and legs’ mahoganized surface. This piece is not for the purist, but the case itself, all drawers, legs, and brasses are original including its magnificent shell, with much of its original gold leaf, which we have refreshed. The legs are magnificently shaped, the split drawers under the top are a desirable feature, as this is generally one drawer, and the shell is the piece de resistance.
An examination and report on this lowboy by early American furniture authority Philip Zimmerman, Ph.D. is available upon request. Details of note include that similarities of construction and carving link this case to a school of japanned pieces by a Boston cabinetmaker of the 1730s and 40s, which are now in major institutions and collections.
When in untouched condition, pieces of this school are extremely rare and desirable. If you can’t afford the $250k an untouched one would cost, this is not bad a bad choice for $6,000!
Height: 29 in. Depth: 20 1/2 in. Width: 33 in. Case Width: 30 in.