Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more PROPERTY FROM A CONNECTICUT FAMILY


appears to retain its original brasses
31 ½ in. high, 37 in. wide, 21 ½ in. deep
According to family history:
The Reverend John Howland (1721-1804), Plympton (later Carver), Massachusetts
Charles Howland (1765-1826), Walpole, New Hampshire, son
Aaron P. Howland (1801-1867), Walpole, son
Henry E. Howland (1835-1913), Walpole and New York City, son
Katherine (Howland) Bellows (1841-1928), Walpole, sister
Mary Howland (Bellows) Quincy (1878-1943), Walpole, daughter
David Howland (2011-2006), New Haven, Connecticut, New York and Bedford, Massachusetts, first cousin once removed
Leigh Keno American Antiques, New York, by purchase from above
Leigh Keno American Antiques, advertisement, The Magazine Antiques (May 1993), p. 648.
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

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Lot Essay

Fitted with a dressing slide and bearing a distinguished New England provenance, this chest-of-drawers is an exceptional survival of the block-front form. The presence of a dressing slide is a rare and sophisticated detail that is only occasionally seen in eighteenth-century American furniture and in New England, largely limited to the urban centers of Boston, Salem, Providence and Newport. With its top joined on sliding dovetails, case sides embellished with facing strips, drawer grain that runs from front to back and a "giant" dovetail joining the base molding to the bottom of the case, this chest exhibits hallmarks of Boston construction. For a chest attributed to Massachusetts with a dressing slide (but with lopers unlike the present example), similar blocking and foot facings, see the Rhode Island Furniture Archive at Yale University Art Gallery, RIF1819.

For over two hundred years, this chest-of-drawers descended in the Howland family of Plympton (later Carver), Massachusetts and Walpole, New Hampshire. The family hails from John Howland (1592-1672), who immigrated to America on the Mayflower from which he famously survived a fall overboard (see P.J. Lynch, The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland's Good Fortune, 2015). Howland was the personal secretary of John Carver, the author of the Mayflower compact and the first Governor of Plymouth, and one of the leaders of the early colony. This chest is thought to have been made for his namesake and great grandson, the Reverend John Howland IV (1720-1804) of Carver, Massachusetts. After graduating from Harvard in 1741, Howland was instated as the minister of the town's second Congregational Church in 1746, a position he held for almost sixty years until his death in 1804. The chest passed to his son, Charles Howland (1765-1826), a cabinetmaker who after living in Boston had removed to Walpole, New Hampshire and thence to his son, Aaron Prentiss (Prentice) Howland (1801-1867), a noted local architect. Aaron built the family home, an 1840s Classical and Gothic Revival cottage, which still stands in Walpole on the corner of Pleasant and Elm Streets. The house and its contents including this chest passed down through the generations to Aaron's granddaughter, Mary Howland (Bellows) Quincy (1878-1943) and upon her death, it was inherited by David Howland (1911-2006), the son of Mary's first cousin, Charles Prentice Howland (1869-1932). Fifty years later, this chest and a turret-top card table, also from eighteenth-century Boston and with the same history, was sold by him to Leigh Keno. See Franklyn Howland, A Brief Genealogical and Biographical History of Arthur, Henry and John Howland and Their Descendants (New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1885), pp. 338-340; "The Howland-Schofield House," Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS NH-65; Leigh Keno American Antiques, advertisement, The Magazine Antiques (May 1993), p. 649.

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