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Eighteenth-century ornament revealed

January 16, 2013

WIN High Chest 2
A creature of indeterminate origin decorates the front of a drawer on the high chest.

 

Furniture scholars Tara Cederholm and Christine Thomson recently visited Winslow Crocker House in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, to examine one of Historic New England's little known treasures, an early japanned high chest. While this one doesn't share the noteworthy history of Historic New England's more famous Quincy House example, which was saved from two fires before 1770, it survives in remarkable condition.

WIN high chest

According to the two experts, who have examined most of the roughly four dozen surviving American eighteenth-century japanned furniture pieces, the raised ornament on the front of the chest is almost entirely intact, which, given the nature of the materials is "unheard of."

Cederholm and Thomson will share their findings at the Winterthur Furniture Forum in March, where a number of Historic New England's important Boston furniture pieces are featured.

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Eighteenth-century ornament revealed