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Kent County, Delaware, dated 1818
Yellow pine
Height 25", Width 50", Depth 19"
Courtesy of Raccoon Creek L.L.C.

On initial inspection, a Pennsylvania origin might be associated with this blanket chest. The rounded bracket feet and methods of construction, however, are atypical of related Pennsylvania forms. The style of the foot and decoration on this chest is found only in one area
—Kent County, Delaware.

The hand-forged strap hinges date the box to the last quarter of the eighteenth century, while the decoration is dated 1818, reflecting a common early-nineteenth-century practice of embellishing contemporary or earlier pieces. The chest was discovered with a darkened shellac oversurface, which was painstakingly removed to reveal the original exuberant polychrome painted surface, turning this “gem in the rough” into a “jewel” of a blanket chest.

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