An excellent Federal mahogany bowfront bureau or chest of drawers, made in manner associated with the workshop of Samuel McIntire with reeded columns, North Shore Massachusetts, about 1800-1810

An excellent Federal mahogany chest of drawers made in manner associated with the workshop of Samuel McIntire (active 1782-1811), North Shore of Massachusetts, about 1800-1810

(For a larger image, simply click on any photograph)

The top of this chest of drawers or bureau is rectangular and displays three quarter-round corners columns that are reeded. The case itself possesses two smaller drawers above three graduated drawers. Each drawer is “cock-beaded” around all sides. The corners of this chest of drawers are defined by turned and reeded corner posts.

The whole case of this chest is supported by turned legs which created vertical extensions that parallel the vertical turned and reeded columns. This chest of drawers has solid mahogany sides, and a shaped skirt. Along its’ sides are simple, but very delicate, serpentine curves and at its’ front is an elegant central drop.

During America’s Federal, or Neoclassical period, this specific form was extremely  popular and additionally, it was quite expensive. This particular design enjoyed tremendous favor among the New Republic’s elite, or “well-to-do”  citizens in the newly formed Republic. Although numerous examples of this particular prototype exist, the attrition rate of those examples is quite high. This chest is an exception.

NOTES/ABSTRACT: Samuel McIntire (b. 1757–d. 1811) was one of America’s most versatile artists during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when the young nation explored new intersections among ideas, concepts, and cultures to create the foundation of its artistic traditions. Recognized as the architect who transformed his birthplace, Salem, Massachusetts, into the epitome of an elegant American town, after 1795 he also gained prominence as a wood and stone carver. The original design vocabulary that he developed from confident and ambitious experimentation produced one of the first significant carving traditions in the new nation. 

Samuel McIntire, active in Salem, Massachusetts from 1782-1811 (shown at the left, courtesy of “The Peabody and Essex Museum”) played a major role in expressing the new British neoclassical style, Samuel McIntire Portraitwhich drew its primary inspiration from the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. He then developed his own distinct version of the style to express the beliefs and aspirations of the first generation of Americans to experience economic, political, and artistic freedom. McIntire worked cooperatively with the town’s leading cabinetmakers, carpenters, and shipbuilders, providing them with carved ornamentation, but his most important surviving carvings are found on furniture and woodwork of his own design done for Salem’s Derby family. His sensitivity to design as a whole produced some of the most beautiful rooms created during the Federal period (1780–1820).

DIMENSIONS: Height 36 1/2″, Overall width: 45 1/2″, Depth: 23 1/2″.

CONDITION: Exceptional, with no major repairs or restorations whatsoever. The stamped brasses are period replacements.


If you are interested in purchasing this chest of drawers, or if you would like additional information about it, please feel to contact C. Lyman McCallum, Jr. personally at 1~803~834~3787 or simply email us at

 As always, your inquiries are welcomed!