Imposing in scale yet minimally adorned, this linen press is a characteristic example of relatively rare Boston case furniture in the "Grecian" style. Recent unpublished scholarship by Clark Pearce has identified this linen press as the work of Thomas Seymour (1771-1848) and dated circa 1830, after his time employed in the shop of Isaac Vose and Son, previously his principal competitor. Seymour likely joined the company shortly after the death of their chief cabinetmaker and business partner Joshua Coates in 1819. In 1824 the elder Vose died, and the younger Isaac shortly issued an advertisement for the business in the Columbian Centinel, taking great care to note that their manufactory was under the direction of Thomas Seymour (Robert D. Mussey, Jr., The Furniture Masterworks of John and Thomas Seymour (Salem, Massachusetts, 2003), p. 76.). Vose closed the business less than two years later, and Seymour became a journeyman cabinetmaker with the last years of his life remaining somewhat obscure.
While other large, cosmopolitan cities in America were home to cabinetmakers hailing from various countries in continental Europe, Boston was comprised predominantly of citizens of English descent. One visitor in the early 19th century noted: "The Bostonians almost without an exception are derived from one country and a single stock. They are all descendants of Englishmen, and, of course, are united by all the great bonds of society" (Stuart Feld, Boston in the Age of Neo-Classicism (New York, 2000), p. 15; Timothy Dwight, Boston at the Beginning of the 19th Century from Travels in New England (Boston, 1904), p. 14). This relative homogeneity included the city's cabinetmakers, who relied heavily on English pattern books and designs of the Regency style. Characteristics include the use of highly figured matchbook veneers and limited use of carving and inlay. A bookcase with similar use of veneer and carving was included in Hirschl & Adler, Inc.'s 2000 exhibition entitled Boston in the Age of Neo-Classicism (Feld, pp. 62-63, cat. no. 26).