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Early American Hepplewhite Faux Mahogany & Rosewood Grain Painted Blanket Chest

Early American Hepplewhite Faux Mahogany & Rosewood Grain Painted Blanket Chest

Regular price $2,475.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $2,475.00 USD
Sale Sold out

With our highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in offering this exceptional and rare early American blanket chest. We can say with all confidence that this specimen is one of the absolute finest examples of its kind as we have been passionate dealers and collectors of premium grade grain painted American furniture for nearly half a century. It has been our privilege to routinely offer antique furniture with both sophisticated and simplistic painted surfaces to our clients and we fondly reflect on decades worth of memorable experiences dealing with many lovely individuals who share our passion and enthusiasm for this field of collecting. In particular we love how these antique chests embody the union of two time honored artistic pursuits which are the remarkable execution of a faux grain painted wood finish and the craftsmanship of the blanket chest itself by a master furniture maker. As with many other skills associated with the early American period the art of replicating exotic species of wood with a paint medium has nearly been lost to time as few if any artists and furniture restorers provide the service and finer traditional furniture made today is seldom if ever grain painted.

This antique blanket chest is a product of the early 19th century and was likely made in New Hampshire perhaps somewhere near the Connecticut River Valley. The form of the chest is closely associated with American Hepplewhite furniture as defined by the scrolled bootjack ends which flow into the shaped French feet. The feet are not flared outward like a traditional French foot would be however they are profiled about the ends and formed as closely as one may expect on a primitive antique chest from this period. The case is comprised of old growth native pine and joined with rabbet edged half overlap joints and original iron rosehead nails into the backboards. The interior features an original steel lock and primitive barrel hinges each of which are all hardware consistent with antique furniture of the 19th century. There is very little natural oxidation on the interior of the blanket chest as the lid is generally left closed however the back and underside bare signs of considerable age including the oxidized wood surface various hand tool marks such as the scribe line left from a marking gauge which acts as a centerline for the centuries old rosehead nails. Either side of the chest is decorated with a faux mahogany book-matched grain painted surface and even features faux wood knots to fully simulate the true effect of a natural wooden board. We note a small white paint transfer mark which can be lightly scratched off if so desired. The primary frontward face of the blanket chest has exceptional faux mahogany grain painting with the border painted to emulate a faux rosewood grain surface. The painted design of the mahogany and rosewood is partitioned by a light gold octagonal element with curved corners which is a design element brought to England and America from Scotland by artisans meant to signify the four changing seasons. A field of brown paint is also employed to make the faux mahogany and rosewood finishes appear more vibrant. The bottom of each leg bares some discoloration and darker oxidation likely from the scrubbing of floorboards in a home where disease was often combatted by meticulous disinfection of all wooden surfaces. We point this feature out as a further indication of age and to help inform collectors of any expertise level on the subtle differences between a true antique painted surface and a paint from the 20th century. The chest measures 50” wide x 20” deep x 31” tall.


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