John Swisegood probably made this cupboard for Susannah Sink, who married David H. Leonard in 1832. The cupboard may have been a wedding gift for the new bride. In the 1870s the cupboard descended to their youngest daughter, Crissie Jane, perhaps on the occasion of her marriage. According to Crissie Jane’s son, it was one of his mother’s most treasured possessions.
As with most cupboards made by Swisegood, the backboards were painted. Microscopic paint analysis revealed that these backboards were originally slate gray rather than the more common Prussian blue seen on the corner cupboard. Prized white dishes would have stood out against this dark background.
For more information about the Clodfelter-Collins-Swisegood cabinetmakers of Davidson County see June Lucas’ article in the 2015 issue of the MESDA Journal.