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    Sale 2095

    The Collection Of Marguerite And Arthur Riordan, Stonington, Connecticut

    18 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 601



    Price Realised  

    Signed by Bates How (b. 1776), Northwestern Connecticut, 1780-1800
    Interior of upper backboard inscribed MADE BY BATES HOW
    80½ in. high, 45¾ in. wide, 22 in. deep

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    This chest-on-chest bears close structural similarities to a chest-of-drawers that also bears the signature of the cabinetmaker, Bates How (b. 1776), now in the Mabel Brady Garvan Collection at Yale University and illustrated in Gerald W.R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, 1988), pp. 142-144, cat. no. 63. Some of the construction elements shared by both case pieces and characteristic of How's cabinetmaking include the practice of dovetailing the backboards to the case sides and tenoning the drawer dividers into the backboards.

    There are few other pieces of furniture signed by or attributed to How. A chest of drawers similar to that at Yale is in the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society and illustrated in the Connecticut Historical Society, Frederick K. and Margaret R. Barbour's Furniture Collection: A Supplement (Hartford, 1970), pp. 14-15. A second chest is in the collection of the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut while a third chest is in a private collection (Winterthur Library, Decorative Arts Photographic Collection, 81.1218).

    Bates How was born in Canaan (Litchfield County), Connecticut in 1776 and his family was in New Marlborough by 1785. How is known to have worked with the cabinetmaker Ruben Beman, Jr., and How's name appears in a Smith family account book in 1799 and 1800. He does not appear to have married and his whereabouts after 1810 are unknown. (Nancy E. Richards and Nancy Goyne Evans, New England Furniture at Winterthur: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods (Delaware, 1997), pp. 402-403).


    Israel Sack, Inc., New York
    Sold Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, April 1, 2005, lot 1498


    Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield County Furniture 1730-1850 (Litchfield, CT, 1969), pp. 52-53, cat. no. 30.
    John T. Kirk, Connecticut Furniture: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Hartford, 1967), p. 57, cat. no. 95.
    Israel Sack, American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection (New York), vol. II, p. 331, no. 820.


    Hartford, Connecticut, Wadsworth Athenaeum, "Connecticut Furniture, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries," November 3 - December 17 1967.

    Litchfield, Connecticut, Litchfield Historical Society, "Litchfield County Furniture 1730-1850," July 3-August 10, 1969.