Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Block front
Also called a tub front

A furniture front which is divided vertically into alternating convex and concave panels. The center panel is recessed between the two advancing side panels.

Though it was produced in several New England localities, block-front shell carved case furniture reached the zenith of its development in Newport, RI (especially with John Goddard), and has since become the hallmark of that city's eighteenth-century cabinetmaking industry.

The carved shells provide a successful terminus for the blocking, and they were used by Newport craftsmen on a variety of furniture forms, from the bookcase to the high chest.

See also: Chest of drawers

Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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