Rare Pair of Paint-decorated Boxes
Probably Bucks County, Pennsylvania, circa 1830
Each, poplar, original brass hinges and lock, original painted decoration, 5 ½ x 12 x 6 inches
The first box initialed “GC” and lined with white paper. The second initialed “CR” and lined with original block printed paper.
The refined and highly accomplished painted decoration of these boxes shows the hand of an ornamental decorator of the highest order, similar to the ornamentation on a small group of miniature chests from the workshop of Edward Hicks (1780-1849, including multiple striped borders, a variety of floral, vine, and leafy devices, and the owner’s initials on the front panels, several rendered in gold paint with fancy script or calligraphic lettering.
The genesis of the Hicks attribution stems from a box inscribed “S. W. Hicks” on the front panel made for Edward Hicks’ wife, Sarah Worstall Hicks (1781-1855), with free-hand decoration, now owned by the Newtown Historic Association, with its decoration attributed to Edward Hicks by Carolyn J. Weekley in “The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks” (New York, 1999), p. 73, pl. 54. A related box now in a private collection is inscribed “W. Richardson, Painter,” working in the Hicks shop.