Collections › MESDA Collection › Chest


Place Made:
Albemarle Sound Region North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
sweet gum
HOA: 21 1/4; WOA: 41 1/8; DOA: 16 1/2
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Six-board chest; ends set into shallow rabbets in front and back, wrought nailed; top has quarter-round molded edges, battened ends; front features an incised design of two diamonds above stem with four leaves, front corners have chip-carved and incised zigzag lines; sides of chest feature one diamond above stem with four leaves; traces of red paint remain.

The joined six-board chest is a form that remained popular and practical from the seventeenth century well into the eighteenth century. Judging from the construction – especially the lack of mortise and tenon joints – it seems most likely that this chest was made by someone familiar with house joinery, not furniture joinery. Though it appears simple at first glance, its surfaces are enlivened with an incised tree-like device on the center front and ends and with chip-carved corners. The chest also retains traces of its original red paint finish.

The chest descended in the Eure family of Gates County, North Carolina. In the early twentieth century, it was in the smokehouse of a Eure family farm near the town of Eure, located on the east side of the Chowan River.
Credit Line:
Mrs. Richard D. McCarthy, by exchange