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Blanket Chest

1991.1474 (RS32460)

Description

Six-board chest. Pine, paint, cotter pins, nails, wrought-iron nails. Painted red. Rectangular form; beveled top hinged with large cotter pins above bootjack sideb oards with double V-cuts and scalloped shaped protruding front feet. Front corner edges are notched. Shallow gauge-carved front panel with stylized geometric motifs framing central initials "IS" flanked by a split date "16 99." Triple-line square motifs with looped corners and demi-line shapes inside double lines at either side. Interior has cornered till at the right. Old flat red paint the covers the exterior.

Details

Label
In Cherished Possessions 2003-2005: In 1704, this chest served as a silent witness to the bloody slaughter that took place in Deerfield, Massachusetts, leaving three-fifths of the town's residents dead or captive. Marked with initials and the date 1699, it probably belonged to John Sheldon of Deerfield. During the night of February 28, French and Indian soldiers attacked the frontier settlement, killing fifty-six English men, women and children, taking 109 captives, and burning half the town. John Sheldon's wife and one of their children were killed. Three of his other children and his daughter-in-law were taken captive. Sheldon survived, as did his son, who had run fourteen miles to the village of Hatfield seeking reinforcements.
Maker
Attributed to Hawks, John, 1643-1721 (Maker)
Date
1699
Inscriptions
Within a carved decoration, in the front panel, are the initials and date: 16 IS 99 . Typed on a NFL jelly label on the inside left side is written: Chest made for John Sheldon of/Deerfield, Mass., and incised on front:/IS 1699. Desc. to son John. Grandson/John built new house in 1734 at no. end/of town, and chest remained there/inher-/ited by Susan Hawks, until her death, 1943.
Location of origin
MA
Associated Building
Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.).
Material
carving (processes)
iron (metal)
nailing
painting (coating)
pine (wood)
Object type
Furniture
Places
Deerfield (Franklin county, Massachusetts)
Massachusetts (United States)
Descriptive terms
blanket chests
Carved
carving (processes)
case furniture
Chest, Blanket
Geometric design
geometric patterns
Iron
iron (metal)
Nailed
nailing
Notched
Painted
painting (coating)
Pine
pine (wood)
Scalloped
scalloping
Seventeenth Century
Dimensions
23 x 52 x 18 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1991.1474
Credit Line
Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little
GUSN
2994

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