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Blanket Chest

Place Made:
Augusta County Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
HOA:28 1/2″ WOA:50 1/2″ DOA:22 7/8″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Chest over two drawers: Straight bracket feet with exaggerated spurs; central shaped drop on bottom of front; cove molded base; applied molding above two adjacent drawers; battened top; original paint with drawer fronts painted blue, chest painted red, feet and base painted black; till has a molded top edge; equipped with crab-type lock and strap hinges, elongated on both sides; remnants of two fraktur attached to the inside of the lid; one with German lettering, the initials “FMH,” and the date 1800.
The chest was discovered during an estate sale by the pioneering Shenandoah Valley collectors Mac and Dolly McKenney in the attic of the Palmer House in the town of Greenville, Augusta County, Virginia. It is one of three two-drawer chests from the same early Augusta County cabinet shop. The earliest example features turned feet; three reeded panels flanking the two drawers; rococo-style hardware; and elaborate strap hinges; it is made of walnut and sycamore with yellow pine and white pine, but has no provenance. The second example is nearly identical to MESDA’s. It is made of yellow pine and tulip poplar with late 19th-century oak graining with black trim that obscures the original red and blue paint. It descended in the family of Andrew Sheets (1817-1852) and his wife, Mary Catherine Engleman, of St. John’s German Reformed Church in Middlebrook, which is also located in Augusta County approximately ten miles from where the MESDA chest was found by the McKenneys. (MESDA Object Database # S-12005, NN-2494)
Credit Line:
Gift of Wilson Douglas by exchange