Collections › MESDA Collection › Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers

Place Made:
Stokes County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
HOA: 41″
WOA: 43 1/2″
DOA: 21″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Chest of drawers: Has four graduated drawers with light wood string inlay and light wood inlayed escutcheons; two round brass knobs on each drawer; stiles have light wood string and bellflower inlay, bottom rail has a band of diamond inlay; case sits on four turned feet; case has paneled sides and four-board back; no dust dividers; two-board top that extends past the case on three sides and is flush in with the back.

TECHNIQUE: The chest’s simple fleur-de-lis, bellflower, and dot inlays on the stiles were probably produced in the maker’s shop rather than purchased, and speak to the Backcountry origins of this object.

HISTORY: This chest of drawers was made for Drury Smith (1796-1873), one of the state’s wealthiest residents. A self-made man, he amassed his fortune as a Rockingham (now Stokes) County tobacco planter and dry-goods merchant. Before the Civil War his wealth was valued at $120,000, including 62 slaves. Following the war, the value of his estate had dwindled to $12,000.
Credit Line:
Gift of Irene T. Martin