Federal Inlaid Cherry Sideboard

Attributed to Thomas Howard, Jr. (1774-1833)

or a Member of his Circle

Pawtuxet/Providence, Rhode Island, c.1810


The oblong top with string inlaid at the edges, above a conforming case with two short drawers above a central long drawer flanked by bottle drawers above an apron that dips in the center with a central oval fan inlay. The drawers are inlaid and edged with lightwood stringing with period bale-handle pulls with stamped brass back plates.  The case is flanked by reserves of mahogany inlay above the legs. The legs with a single bellflower inlay at the top of the front legs and outlined with stringing down to the cross-banded cuff.


Condition: Excellent; Brass pulls are period replacements. Refinished with shellac in the manner of the period.


This diminutive sideboard relates to a group of sideboards attributed to Thomas Howard, Jr. of Pawtuxet and the circle of cabinetmakers, some related to Howard, who worked closely together at the beginning of the 19th century near Providence, Rhode Island. Though conforming in many ways, it is distinct from the other known examples which have a pair of central cabinet doors flanked by pairs of short drawers and are made in mahogany.  This model has an oval fan inlay on its apron, seemingly identical to one used by Newport cabinetmaker John Townsend (1732-1809), on a set of four card tables c. 1800, rather than the crossed sprigs inlay typically associated with this group.[1]


Howard's career began in Pawtuxet in 1790 and continued after 1812 in Providence.  His 1804 advertisement in the Providence Gazette includes a long list of forms that begins with "Side-boards, with serpentine, elliptic, sash-cornered or straight fronts."[2]


Christopher Monkhouse notes in American Furniture in Pendleton House that "a dozen or more" sideboards of this small type are known.[3]  Four are in public collections including: at Pendleton House (RISD), the Rhode Island Historical Society, Yale University Art Gallery and Colonial Williamsburg.          SB-FH-1406131


[1] Benjamin Hewitt, Patricia Kane, Gerald Ward, The Work of Many Hands: Card Tables in Federal America 1790-1820,  (New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), p. 70, fig. 42.

[2] I credit dealer Gary Sullivan for this information about Howard's career.

[3] Christopher P. Monkhouse, Thomas S. Michie, American Furniture in Pendleton House, (Providence, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1986), p. 114, fig. 52.

Dealer Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc.
Date: c. 1810
Origin Pawtucket/Providence
Artist/Maker Thomas Howard, Jr.
Measurements H: 41" W: 50" D: 16"
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Website http://www.american-antiques.net
Contact Carswell R. Berlin, 646-645-0404 or  CarswellBerlin@msn.com

Stay up to date with our ADA newsletter.

[ Generation time: 0.034 s - 87% PHP, 13% DB ]   [ 15 queries used ]   [ GZIP compression enabled ]   [ Server Load: 2.57 ]