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Knifebox

Decorative Arts and Design

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Knifebox

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

William Whitehead (American, New York, active 1790-1810), maker

Date

ca. 1794–1799

Medium

Mahogany, poplar, and light wood inlay

Accession #

76.1000.5 C

Dimensions

15 3/4 x 22 x 9 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 305

Description

Sideboards such as this example from New York were designed to hold every accessory needed for a meal, even a chamber pot for guests to use during long dinners. When dinner was not being served, matching boxes—the examples here are rare survivors of the era—held silverware and knives. Such specialized furnishings were made for prosperous merchants, who began to require rooms each fitted to a single purpose; the dining room was the first such devoted space at the end of the 1700s.

Credit

Purchase with funds from a supporter of the Museum