Messages

Subject:
not an equivalent example

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
There is no part of a bow front that is orthogonal to the sides. Not the case with the piece you illustrated, nor the case with some serpentine fronts, depending on the details of the "wings".

Serpentine and Bombe fronts, when made in their most showy fashion, were sawn from a carefully selected thick piece of wood in order to emphasize the surface cutting across end grain where the pulls are located. At their "best" the serpentine front presents two big eyes, a presentation that I don't care for.

Because of the compound curve it might be impossible to veneer a bombe, so I don' t know why you offer it as an example of what was done for bow fronts.

By contrast, no doubt to make construction easier, bow fronts are commonly if not always, veneered in American Furniture. For a stunning example look up the "McIntyre chest on chest" original or Alf Sharp's reproduction, or Connecticut Valley Furniture page 395. An image search of bow fronts will reveal many obviously veneered. One can not say for those not obviously veneered from sequential veneer whether they were veneered or not. Or just ask Alf Sharp or Jeff Heady, who works in a 4th generation shop making Period Correct early American Furniture.

I am no authority on any of these details so I ask those that are when faced with the need. .

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