Dressing Chest with Mirror, ca. 1810

Thomas Seymour, possibly with James Cogswell; carving by Thomas Wightman
Boston - United States
Primary woods: mahogany with bird’s-eye maple veneer, striped satinwood crossbanding, ebony stringing. Brass, mirrored glass, gilding, paint, ivory.
H: 73.5 in, W: 45 in, D: 25 in

Gift of Miriam and Francis Shaw Jr.

Accession Number: 122350

The bird’s-eye maple veneers, striped satinwood crossbanding, and ebony stringing illuminate a tour de force of original design elements combined with skill and taste. Many of the Seymours’ finest pieces reflect collaboration with a discerning patron like Elizabeth Derby of Salem, who commissioned this chest and spared no expense to own the very best furniture.

Luxury and Innovation, Furniture Masterworks by John and Thomas Seymour

On view November 17, 2003 to February 16, 2004

Located in the: Special Exhibition Galleries

Luxury and Innovation features 72 classic examples of American furniture by John and Thomas Seymour, considered to have been the finest cabinetmakers working in America during the Federal period. Drawn from the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum, other major museums, and private collections around the country, the exhibition will be the first major retrospective of the Seymours’ work during nearly forty years as Boston’s leading craftsmen. The exhibition is the culmination of over a decade of primary scholarship on the Seymours and their time, and it will be accompanied by a definitive, major publication that explores all aspects of their life and work.

Further Reading