Philadelphia Chippendale Lowboy Reproduction
This Chippendale lowboy was built as a reproduction of a very famous lowboy that was originally made in Philadelphia between 1760 and 1770. In Albert Sack's well known reference book The New Fine Points of Furniture - Early American, Sack rates this particular lowboy a Masterpiece: "By compressing the case into a compact framework, this artisan created a masterpiece from an otherwise conventional form. The modeling, the choice of figured grain, and the magnificent golden color it has attained add to its rare beauty. Many connoisseurs would choose this piece over its more richly carved peers." (Sack, p. 219)
I chose curly cherry for this reproduction, instead of black walnut which was used in the original. Walnut, tiger maple or mahogany would also be very well suited to the design. Similar lowboys, dressing tables or servers 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 photo below show the original lowboy from the Albert Sack collection Collection
on the left with his description of the piece.
Masterpiece: Chippendale walnut claw-and-ball-foot lowboy, Philadelphia, circa 1760 -70.
For those who cherish the rococo achievements of the Philadelphia carver, this piece would hardly rank among the mighty. However, for those who admire the unique mastery of form and line, this lowboy is without peer. The compact case, the perfect curve of the cabriole legs with their finely sculptured claw-and-ball feet, the contained restlessness of the apron with its high center arch, the boldly overhanging top with its deep cyma corners, the use of crotch figure on the facades and the beautiful golden color it has developed over the centuries blend into a work of art of rare beauty. (Sack, American Antiques p. 2232)
The photo below shows my reproduction of this piece in curly cherry.
Primary construction is curly cherry with hard maple drawer interiors and poplar for drawer bottoms.
The dimensions are approximately 30" high x 35" wide x 21.5" deep
The top of the lowboy is a single, beautifully grained board of amazing width 21.5".
Pinned mortise and tenon and handcut dovetail joinery throughout the piece.
Hand carved fluted quarter columns on the front corners of the lowboy.
Cabriole legs with hand carved ball and claw feet, carved shells on the knees and carved volutes on the knee blocks.
Drawer fronts are bookmatched from highly figured cherry crotch wood.
All drawers feature handcut dovetails at all four corners - with solid wood drawer bottoms
The top drawer is fitted with a functioning reproduction lock - as was the original.
All hardware is reproduction quality cast solid brass and matches the original piece's hardware.
This dresser was finished with a hand rubbed varnish finish - then buffed and waxed to a satiny sheen.
Other woods, styles and finishes are available
Detail views of the front legs and feet
This Lowboy was Featured in the "Current Work" Section of the April 2006 issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine