High Chest of Drawers

Maker unknown

Philadelphia or perhaps Wilmington, Delaware, 1765–80

Mahogany, Atlantic white cedar, tulip poplar, yellow pine

Sewell C. Biggs bequest; 2004.147

This chest of drawers (and an accompanying dressing table, now on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) descended through the family of James Read (1743–1822), of New Castle, Delaware, younger brother of George Read, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The high chest’s silhouette and floral-carved decoration speak of the Rococo style, which was popular throughout the Philadelphia region until the American Revolution.