Chippendale Highboy Reproduction
When I saw a picture of this highboy in a book featuring furniture from the Colonial Williamsburg private collection, I knew this was the piece I wanted to reproduce as my signature showcase. This highboy was based very closely on a piece built in Winchester Virginia in 1795. I chose black walnut for this reproduction, but cherry or mahogany would both be very suited to the design as well. This highboy encompasses so many details and elements that it is truly a stunning piece. Many of the major style elements of period furniture are encompassed into this piece including: Ball and claw feet, quarter columns, carvings, hand cut dovetails, gooseneck molding, rosettes and turned finials. As one of my friends remarked upon seeing the piece - "This piece has presence!"
Similar highboy, lowboy, or chests of drawers could be done in a variety of styles and designs. The size, style, wood selection, and coloring can be customized to suit the customer's requirements.
The photos below show the original highboy from the Colonial Williamsburg Collection on the left with my reproduction on the right. Aside from the differences in wood choice (Cherry vs. Walnut), I followed the original almost exactly.
Primary construction is black walnut with hard maple drawers and poplar for drawers and back.
The dimensions are approximately 96" high x 45" wide x 25" deep
Wide boards and careful grain matching for full grain patterns.
Mortise and tenon and handcut dovetail joinery throughout the piece - with over 300 hand cut dovetail joints in the case and drawers.
Hand carved ball and claw feet with shell carvings on the front knees.
Hand carved rosettes and shell / leafs on the top board
Gooseneck molding with lower curved molding to add additional detail.
Hand carved quarter columns on the upper and lower cases.
Detailed hand turned finials and center finial with carving.
All drawers feature handcut dovetails at all four corners - with solid wood drawer bottoms
All drawers are fitted with a functioning lock with an inset brass keyhole - as was the original.
All the drawers feature cockbead molding around the front edges.
All hardware is reproduction quality solid brass.
This highboy was finished with a hand rubbed shellac finish - then buffed and waxed to a satiny sheen.
Other woods, styles and finishes are available
Detail views of the base and ball and claw foot
Detail photos of the drawer and back.
Detail view of top elements including gooseneck molding, finials and pedestals, carvings and rosettes.
This reproduction was featured in the October 2004 issue of
Fine Woodworking - Current Work Section