In Chest Invection I described how elevated chests occasionally found their own feet, and then yesterday I came across this beautifully patinated English walnut chest of drawers (fig. 1), advertised by a North American dealer and described as “George I… circa 1780-1800” – oh Lordy.
Whilst anomalies have a habit of cropping up (and this chest may, in fact, be totally original), I was suspicious of it the moment I clapped eyes on it. The first pointer that shouts “top chest” is the arrangement of three top drawers which is typical of the upper tier chests of a great many chest-on-chests (figs. 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7).
I have another concern: The chest’s atypical base moulding (fig. 6) is more consistent (at this date) with the waist moulding of a chest-on-chest (figs. 3, 5, 7 & 8).
As evidenced by the wear to the base moulding (caused by the drawer runner), the conversion (if that indeed, is what it is) appears to have been carried out some time ago – one would like to believe it was to increase the chests’ utility rather than for commercial gain.