Otis House

Chest of Drawers

This chest bears a stylish mahogany blockfront façade, characterized by recessed central drawers flanked by protruding side drawers. Blocking became popular in expensive Boston furniture beginning in the 1730s. This example belonged to Harrison Gray Otis’ father Samuel Allyne Otis (1740-1814) and may have been acquired at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Gray in 1764. It is one of a small group of surviving examples that all share the same exquisite craftsmanship and may have been made in the shop of Benjamin Frothingham, in Charlestown.

Benjamin Frothingham, attributed maker
Charlestown, Mass., 1755-1765
Mahogany, brass