Old And Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace

  
Please Select Search Type:
Antiques Digest Browse Auctions Appraisal Antiques And Arts News Home

Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article



Block Front Furniture

Considered by many to be the finest furniture ever made, the shell-carved block fronts showed excellent construction, beautiful design and superb carving.

John Goddard (1724-1785), a cabinetmaker of note in Newport, Rhode Island, invented the block front and had fifteen children-quite an accomplishment for any man. Several of his sons became cabinetmakers as was also his father-in-law, job Townsend.

Three blocks help form the contour of the front of this furniture: the middle one concave, and those to either side convex. In good examples the whole drawer front is made of one plank which had to be 3 inches thick to accommodate the carving.

Where shell carving appeared, the top board was straight, but where the block front was plain the top board was of a similar contour to the front.

Goddard developed a particularly lovely bracket foot of the ogee type.

Desks, both flat top and fall front, secretaries, chests of drawers and chests-on-chests were made during the rather short period of 1750 to 1780.

Mahogany was the usual wood, although there were occasional examples made in maple and cherry.

It is truly a shame that there were not more of these magnificent specimens made, for there are few available today.



Bookmark and Share