When looking at furniture, the are things you see occasionally but are not necessarily rare. The more furniture I see, the more I realize there is no single right way to do things unless you ask Frank Klausz. There are some techniques that are more common but that doesn’t always make them right. There are a few things about this piece I saw at a recent auction that caught my eye and I thought I’d share.

First, the piece:

American Chippendale Pine Chest of Drawers


This lot has sold for $140.

Not a very good angle on it but the showroom was not optimally arranged for my purposes. I am beginning to believe they don’t care. I’ll add their picture.


Amazing what you can do in a studio with controlled lighting and a seamless background.

Description: Likely New England, circa 1800, white pine, bold molded and applied top molding, two side-by-side drawers above three graduated drawers, all with molded edge, raised on bold shaped bracket foot base.

Size43.5 x 40 x 20 in.

Condition: Replaced pulls; expected wear; good estate condition.

 As you have come to expect, I took a look at the drawer construction. Dovetailed, but:



Hand cut but pins and tails are roughly equal.

Not the thin pins that I seen so much of recently. Not a big deal, you still end up removing the same amount of wood no matter your pin/tail preferences. Just not seen very often.

The a look at the drawer blades/dividers:


Sliding half dovetails but with the flat side up where typically I’ve seen flat side down or sliding full dovetails.

Also interesting to note how much the sides have shrunk in 220 years.

Looking at the back:


The top is attached to the top with sliding half dovetails. Part of the tail (side) has fallen victim to the rabbet for the back.

The two piece molding is something else you don’t see every day. The lower piece builds out to compensate for the overhang. For the dovetail to work, the top must extend out beyond the sides. The upper molding finishes the look and hides the end grain.

Keep looking at furniture, you never know what you might see.