I don’t know much about early North American furniture other than they seem to have no idea when it was made.
Early on in the settlement of the colony, English joiners crossed the Atlantic, bringing with them, prevailing tastes and skills which they plied in their adopted land. Of course, there followed a steady stream of joiners from Mother England during the late seventeenth-century and then cabinetmakers during the eighteenth-century, all of whom introduced new trends, which, if not immediately adopted in their entirety in all regions, at least lent some influence locally.
I recently spotted this Philadelphia-made Black Walnut chest which, although it (to my British eyes) stands on ridiculously tall feet, is of otherwise rather lovely proportions, colour and appearance.
Walnut chest made by William Beake, Philadelphia, circa 1710. (H. L. Chalfant)
If it were English, I would say it was a Charles II (or his brother, James II) chest made circa 1670-85, which would account for the early form of joined frame-and-panel carcase construction and use of large scotia base moulding; combined with the applied moulding around the drawer openings which first appeared circa 1670. The drawer construction could reveal volumes more, but unfortunately there are no published images of the drawer internals.
The chest’s owner (North American dealer, H. L. Chalfant) describes the chest as being “An exceptional example of the William & Mary form…” and dates it to 1710 (by which time William and Mary were, in fact, long dead and Mary’s sister, Anne had been on the throne some eight years).
Chalfant concedes the turned feet are replacements (strangely though, they appear to have been modelled on a Hongwu vase rather than any bun foot I’m familiar with). The brasses too, are apparently replacements which may, or may not mean they are stylistically correct for the North American period – I just don’t know (they’d certainly be a little late if it were an English chest).
H. L. Chalfant has a number of other very attractive and interesting pieces of early North American furniture which are worth examining (with disparities between English/North American fashions being as much as fifty years in some cases).