Paint-decorated lift-top chest with drawers
Centre County, Pennsylvania, circa 1810
Poplar and pine, original painted decoration, original wrought iron lock and hinges and brass knobs, 31 x 50 ½ x 22 ½ inches
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Among this particular group of Centre County chests, this example is unique for its combination of attributes including: The use of a “wet-on-wet” decorating technique, the highly distinctive color palette of pinkish red and blue on a white background; the drawers, and the scalloped apron. This chest is attributable to an unidentified shop in Centre County, Pennsylvania that produced a small group of related lift-top chests with boldly flaring black-painted French bracket feet, finely painted floral, heart, and pinwheel decoration on a red background. These are related to examples formerly in the collections of Historic Deerfield, Jean and Howard Lipman, and Donald and Esther Shelley, discussed in Richard Miller, Avis Berman, Cynthia G. Falk, Lisa Minardi, and Ralph Sessions, A Shared Legacy, Folk Art in America (Alexandria, VA and NY, 2014), no. 60, pp. 228-229.
Frank and Barbara Pollack, Highland Park, IL; Private collection; Olde Hope Antiques, New Hope, PA; Private collection; “Period Furniture, Fine Art, and Accessories,” Pook and Pook, Downingtown, PA, October 6, 2012, lot. 935; Private collection.
Cynthia V. A. Schaffner and Susan Klein, American Painted Furniture (New York, 1997), no. 6.10, p. 140.
Cynthia V. A. Schaffner and Susan Klein, “Two-Toned Finishes: American Painted Furniture. 1790-1880,” Folk Art, Spring, 1998, p. 39.