Lyon, Irving Whitall, 1840-1896. / The colonial furniture of New England
Chapter I. Chests., pp. -29
2 CHESTS M "y of these examples are of exceeding beauty and riichness, being elaborately carved in" greater or less rolief- with architectural details, figures, masks, shells, leaves, flowers, etc. With the decline of figure cutting, inferior artists took to the flat carving, which was very generally prac- ticed in the seventeenth century in Northwestern Eu- rope, and which found its way to this country upon the chests brought hither by our European ancestors. Many of the chests in use in New England during the first century of its settlement are to-day carefully preserved in public museums, by private collectors, and by families who cherish them as ancestral relics. From these examples, and from the facts and de- scriptions to be gleaned from the inventories of estates, we may obtain a tolerably accurate history of this article of furniture during the colonial period. In looking through the early records preserved in our probate courts we find chests mentioned in al- most every inventory from the first. The most fre- quent entry is the simple word chest without any qualifying adjective; and the price, if given, is the only clue to its character. In many instances, how- ever, the kind of chest is mentioned. The following list embraces most of the varieties met with: - Joined chests. Wainscot chests. Board chests.
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