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Corner Cupboard

Place Made:
Oglethorpe County Georgia United States of America
Date Made:
1845-1855
Medium:
yellow pine –paint
Dimensions:
HOA: 87″
WOA: 35 9/16″
DOA: 6 1/16″
Accession Number:
5503.6
Description:
DESCRIPTION: Faux-grain painted corner cupboard with molded cornice; upper section has two paneled doors; molding at waist separates upper section from lower; lower case has two paneled doors; bracket feet.

CONSTRUCTION: The three-section cornice is nailed to the fascia board and case sides. The molding framing along the back edges of the cupboard continues around the sides and the front at the top, appearing to be an added section of the cornice. A flat molding separates the upper and lower cupboards sections. The paneled doors are mortised, tenoned, and pegged. One upper door has an added 1/2″ strip as it butts against the other door. The base is cut to form front feet and is nailed to the case. The molding framing described above fits along the top of the base. The wide, rough-sawn vertical backboards are nailed to the case and to each of the three interior shelves. The backboards are cut at the bottom in the shape of the front base section, the joining of which forms the back center foot. The surface is painted and grained in red and black. The panels are bordered by a darker tone. Outlining these painted borders is an ocher line, simulating inlay. The locks and hinges are original.

History:
This corner cupboard, along with a sideboard (acc. 5651) was part of the original furnishings of White Oak Plantation, built c. 1840 for the planter Augustus Dozier (1807-1902) in Oglethorpe County. Dozier’s grandfather migrated to Georgia from Virginia along the Great Wagon Road in the eighteenth century. Augustus was born in Columbia County, Georgia, but married and settled in nearby Oglethorpe County. Primarily a farmer, he was also a surveyor. By the Civil War Dozier owned 750 acres of land and eighteen slaves, placing him well within Georgia’s upper middling class.

The corner cupboard remained at White Oak and in the same family ownership until 1979. Recent research by Linda Crowe Chestnut and preservation consultant Maryellen Higgenbotham reveals that the corner cupboard’s faux finish was far from unique at White Oak. The house’s doors, mantels, and wainscot all retain evidence of original decorative faux finishes.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund