Split chests are cropping up with great regularity!
George I split walnut chest, circa 1720. (Christie’s)
The construction of this chest appears to contradict the reasoning and method of splitting flat panel chests that I described in Picture This XIX, however, this chest is an entirely different animal.
The obvious departure is that the split occurs precisely between the second and third drawers. Now, I know I said that splitting flat panel chests in or around dustboards would affect their structural integrity, but this chest is far superior in design and execution to the former examples: This flat panel chest comprises two entirely separate carcases.
The third and fourth drawers are housed in their own self-contained carcase, around the top of which is glued the cross-grained moulding. The upper section of the chest is also a self-contained carcase. The second drawer’s bottom boards and runners are raised so that the bottom edge of the drawer hides the (reduced-depth) carcase base.