Monday, July 4, 2011
Yesterday I stopped by an antique show and this caught my eye.
This is an English apothecary chest in mahogany from the early 1800's. I knew immediately that it was something special.
When I opened the 3" tail drawer a fine set of skinny-pin half blind dovetails were presented. Quite obviously this was not made by mechanized process. It was made by a man-machine.
I reached in and extracted the tray, made from 1/8" solid mahogany, and joined with diminutive delicate dovetails. Then the craftmanship of the man machine filled the space where I was standing.
At the front of the tray the sides are joined with through and mitered dovetails. The entire joint is mitered such that only the end grain of the pins shows. As such:
The back of the tray is joined with another variation of a mitered dovetail. This time the full tail is kept whole, the half tails being mitered.
People enjoyed less before mass production. Or did they?