The Big Thing
I was off and about for a little bit yesterday. Wanted to check out my usual thrift spots....Salvation Army and Goodwill. Well, I never made it to Goodwill because Salvation Army had me at hello. I'll start with the best score first.
I was really looking for some small pieces of furniture I could repaint for our upcoming craft fair. However, the universe had something else in mind. I scoped the furniture section out back and wasn't really finding anything so I headed up front, where there are usually have a few other pieces to catch peoples attention. It worked. Everyone else was walking past this, but I knew better.
I sat right down on the couch next to it and started researching it on my smart phone. Yay for smart phones. This was no antique 'toy chest' as Sally had it marked. I knew it was a hope chest of sorts, what they called a dower or blanket chest and the smart phone confirmed.
I knew it was old from the dovetailed construction and the forged hardware along with the hand-carved areas that the hardware was set into. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it was made in the early 1800's. I reserve the right to be wrong though, but all clues seem to be leading to that time period.
It's got beautiful handpainting on it, and I thought perhaps Pennsylvania Dutch. I haven't confirmed anything yet. I've found one European blanket chest and one American online, that are the closest to this design. From what I gather, these handpainted pieces are becoming harder and harder to come by as they are sought out by collectors and museums. It really is a fine example of folk art.
It has some minor damage, to be expected with something of this age, but all it in all it's in pretty great condition. It's really a wonderful piece. Needless to say, the painting is very beautiful. Vases of flowers on the top, more flower panels on the front and then wreaths of leaves on the side.
Inside is what they call a 'till box', which held smaller items. The till box even has a second hidden compartment. I was of course hoping to find at least a little letter or note, but no such luck.
We found a pencilled inscription in cursive that we simply can't make out. We think it may not be in English. There seems to be a name...perhaps Angelina, or Angelic and the number 16 among other words.
Suffice it to say, this chest is huge at almost 4 feet long, 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. This baby could surely fit a lot of blankets.
This score alone made me pretty darn happy. Gar, perhaps not, but he humored me and drove up with the truck to bring it home. What really makes me happy is that we were able to save this historic beauty from an unknown and perhaps toy filled, coffee table fate. It deserves much better.
It now sits in the middle of the kitchen for the moment. I'm hoping it fits through the bedroom door so it can stay in there until we do more research to figure out pricing. I did say it was big, right?
If you happen to know anything about these dower/blanket chests, I'd be so happy if you shared. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in this piece.
The Little Things
This is what I had in my basket before I laid my eyes on the blanket chest.
Four little ironstone 'bone dishes'. These were used as a recepticle for bones when dining. Good idea, huh?
Three vintage atlas jars, one with the rubber still intact.
Sweet needlpoint of a little church and blooming tree and flowers.
A lovely sampler of the Lord's Prayer which is professional framed and sealed.
Not a bad haul.
We did enjoy a campfire last night and it was one gorgeous night. Today the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Gar is off on errands and I'm trying to get some things done at my desk.
Hope you're having a great weekend,