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Blanket Chest

1940.55 (RS33460)

Description

Oak and black walnut. chest Paneled facade with two-panel sides and four-panel back. Panels feature applied ring and crosses. Triglyphs and bosses on upper rail. Applied split spindles. Missing lower portion which likely included two or four drawers.

Details

Label
The geometric patterns on the surface of this Boston chest were created by the use of applied red cedar moldings. Maple split spindles, painted black to resemble ebony, provide a colorful contrast with the light oak, red cedar, and black walnut also incorporated into the chest's façade. Considered a specimen of such singular craftsmanship and ornamentation, the late furniture historian Benno Forman dubbed this chest the “the most important eastern Massachusetts chest in captivity.” The chest's maker, who crafted the piece around 1635-1670 in Boston, followed the latest London fashion. Dutch craftsmen originally introduced the robust architectural style to England in the early seventeenth century. When London-based joiners influenced by the Dutch style immigrated to Boston, they brought their knowledge of urban furniture trends to the New World.
Maker
unknown
Date
1635-1670
Location of origin
MA
Material
Norway spruce (wood)
maple (wood)
red cedar (wood)
red oak (wood)
walnut (wood)
Object type
Furniture
Places
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Massachusetts (United States)
Descriptive terms
blanket chests
case furniture
Cedar
CHEST, BLANKET
Maple
maple (wood)
Norway spruce (wood)
Pine
red cedar (wood)
Red Oak
red oak (wood)
Seventeenth Century
Walnut
walnut (wood)
Dimensions
26 1/8 x 47 5/8 x 21 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1940.55
Credit Line
Museum purchase
GUSN
40407
Reference Notes
Jobe, Brock and Myrna Kaye. New England Furniture: The Colonial Era. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984.

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