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Chest

Place Made:
Eastern Tennessee United States of America
Date Made:
1820-1830
Medium:
walnut, poplar
Dimensions:
HOA: 16 3/4; WOA: 16 7/8; DOA: 11 1/4
Accession Number:
2500
Description:
DESCRIPTION: Inlaid walnut chest; front and sides are framed with flat panels; corner stiles turned at the bottom to form Sheraton style feet with buttons at the terminals; lower part of the case contains two drawers; front panel is inlaid with the front elevation of a brick house, with an offset chimney at right; stiles and rails of the lower portion of the case are inlaid with lozenges; the drawer fronts and bottom side rails with round inlays; top was originally held in place with leather hinges (replaced); paneled sides; applied molding at edge.

This small chest is difficult to attribute to any given county or town. Its inlay is related to other Tennessee furniture, but its joined construction suggests a rural mountain origin. The use of nailed leather straps for hinges reinforces this supposition. This chest exhibits strong influence of folk culture in the design of both the case and the ornament. The primitive nature of the inlay, particularly the elevation of a brick house, resembles that of embroidered samplers of the period.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund