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Court Cupboard. Oak with pine back and bottom. Red and black paint. Upper and lower drawers over a center cabinet. Drawer fronts have two rows of short panels. Central shelf behind cupboard doors; Decorative spindles are painted. Rests on front flattened ball feet and straight back feet.
"Cherished Possessions": When a picture of this seventeenth-century cupboard appeared in Clarence Cook's House Beautiful in 1878, it became, perforce, an icon of the aesthetic reform movement in America. Cook preached a return to simplicity and honesty of design; he held that good design should be available to all, and that an artistic life promoted morality and virtue. When it was made, probably in the 1680s, this cupboard would have had an upper case. In the nineteenth century the cupboard was discovered in a barnyard, where it was being used as a hen coop, a fragment of its former self. Cook celebrated the cupboard, so well made that it survived years of misuse.
40 1/8 x 48 x 21 3/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Massachusetts (United States)
Newbury (Essex county, Massachusetts)