Rundlet-May House

Chest of Drawers

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, cabinetmakers were producing what would become some of the most iconic and striking furniture produced in New England. Many of these pieces were characterized by boldly contrasting and highly figured veneers, like the birch veneer used here, carefully matched to create a dramatic effect. The bowed or rounded facade of the chest was also becoming increasingly popular in style. The refined drop pendant at the base is a feature that identifies this piece is most likely to have been made in Portsmouth. This chest of drawers, along with the Boardman lolling chair, descended in the family of Samuel Lord and came to the Rundlet-May House with the marriage of James Rundlet May and Mary Ann Morrison.