Tool chest with tools
chest ca. 1790; tools ca. 1790-1850
Outer case of painted pine; inner till of mahogany with ivory and brass.
Overall: 48 x 38 x 23 in. ( 121.9 x 96.5 x 58.4 cm )
Rectangular mahogany and pine tool chest with approximately 430 tools including planes, chisels and blades, saws, files, and compasses; plain lid gouged by compass with concentric circles; plain molding around base; wrought-iron bail handles on sides; mahogany panel with slots in sides for bladed tools affixed to inside of lid; bank of sixteen ivory-handled drawers slides forward on runners to reveal deep compartment housing planes; top panel of drawer bank hinged above flat compartment; wood slots and metal hooks on side wall for tools.
This chest was made by Duncan Phyfe (1770-1854), one of New York's most renowned cabinetmakers, to house his own cabinetmaking tools. The tool chest contains approximately 300 woodworking tools used for carving, veneering, and inlaying furniture, including more than sixty planes and a variety of files, chisels, gouges, templates, and squares. The chest's current configuration, including the many rehandled tools, may have been undertaken by Phyfe after his retirement in 1847. The chest descended in Phyfe's family to his great-grandsons, Henry Pinkney Phyfe and Churchill Bell Phyfe, who deposited it with the New-York Historical Society in 1927.
Loaned by the families of Henry Pinkney Phyfe and Churchill B. Phyfe
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.