Blanket Chest

Collection Type

  • Furniture

Date

1635-1670

GUSN

GUSN-40407

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

Descriptive Terms

blanket chests
case furniture
maple (wood)
red cedar (wood)
red oak (wood)
walnut (wood)
Norway spruce (wood)
maple (wood)
walnut (wood)
Red Oak
Walnut
Pine
Maple
Cedar
Seventeenth Century
CHEST, BLANKET

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

Location of Origin

MA

Object Type

Furniture

Dimensions

26 1/8 x 47 5/8 x 21 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Museum purchase

Accession Number

1940.55

Reference Notes

Jobe, Brock and Myrna Kaye. New England Furniture: The Colonial Era. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984.

Places

Massachusetts (United States)
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)