Featured Pennsylvania Dutch chest

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by TerriLynn, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    12E1B0AC-FFBB-46B4-AD0B-289EA42F7DEB.jpeg chest4.jpg This was found out side of Pine Ridge, SD and is in very rough shape. i know that the top has been repainted, but the mural is lovely and looks quite old. I don't know how to even start dealing with this! The original painting is gorgeous but is starting to peel. How do I help this??

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  2. gregsglass

    gregsglass Well-Known Member

    I have seen a lot of these in worse shape go for big bucks BUT I have seen much better shape go for peanuts. I grew up with these PA trunks so good luck. I have absolutely no idea of what to do with it. I would just give it a really good waxing with a really good wax like carnauba. It will give it some protection without destroying the originally of it.
  3. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    OMG! To have seen that prior to its current dilapidation! However, as Greg said, protection is a must, and I'd buy it...warts and all!
  4. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    Thanks guys! How would I clean the top mural? I am afraid to wax the side due to the fragility of the paint. The hinges are also bent. By to fix those I would have to take them off. I just don’t want to hurt the value.
  5. patd8643

    patd8643 Well-Known Member

    What a lovely old probably PA chest, like a lovely old person with all their wrinkles and warts! Do you have any good restoration people in your area? This is too lovely to lose. They will take some of it apart and restore the hinges then what painting that can be restored and saved. The wood is probably starving for some oils /wax as suggested above. Don't wax it before you decide how much restoration can be done.
  6. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Ir's very nice. Welcome to Antiquers, @TerriLynn !
  7. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

  8. gregsglass

    gregsglass Well-Known Member

    Hi Patd,
    I was taught at the MET in NYC to use the wax method BEFORE even trying to get an evaluation. It can be removed very easily and protects the item in the meanwhile. It is NOT like lacquering or anything that might cause further damage.
  9. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    Can we see the back and underneath with the feet and one of the sides?? Are the corners dovetailed? The top and bottom look like two butted pieces of wood and not a single board - is that correct? It actually doesn't look period Penn (late 1700's to 1830) to me, but later. I could be wrong, but it just doesn't look right to me. If it *is* original paint and construction, maybe a scandinavian import from later in the 1800's or possibly even more recent? We haven't seen enough to say for sure, but I have questions.
  10. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    D95030CB-3CE7-4098-BB0D-05EC357D3301.jpeg 490D7D37-DE47-48A2-9E00-BB689A933498.jpeg 0D2E459A-6133-4E17-BC31-2AEFBA1A1E20.jpeg 8836C25C-9023-4434-9A9A-C93A5173B1E7.jpeg 45A6E6A7-199A-448E-A6FE-F7C5A0F090A3.jpeg 8836C25C-9023-4434-9A9A-C93A5173B1E7.jpeg 0D2E459A-6133-4E17-BC31-2AEFBA1A1E20.jpeg 490D7D37-DE47-48A2-9E00-BB689A933498.jpeg D95030CB-3CE7-4098-BB0D-05EC357D3301.jpeg Here are more pictures Jeff. I can’t get a photo of the underside until someone else gets home. Do these help?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  11. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    I have attached more pictures.
    Christmasjoy and i need help like this.
  12. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum, TerryLynn! :) Can you please hit Edit, More Options, Check box all Full Image, Save Changes, please? :)
  13. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    In some respects, your second batch of images don't look as "damaged" to the item as the first batch!!!! But def get it in and keep it in out of the weather!!!! You need to find out what you have first and foremost!!!! Take lots of GOOD quality pictures and take them (or even email them) to a couple of Reputable conservationists or restorers to see what they suggest!! I don't know where your talents lie, but you may or may not want to tackle this yourself!! @James Conrad, that is the first time I have seen half of the strap hinges on the outside of the chest.....is that common???? The artistry on the chest looks lovely!!!
  14. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    I am in South Dakota that is why I am asking for help. I did take pictures to a shop downtown and she said they had only seen 4 similar to this in 40 years. I have yet to find anyone in this area that can help with conservation suggestions. Thank you!
    Christmasjoy and kyratango like this.
  15. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the extra pics. The hinges are common for these chests; larger chests often have the top of hinge on interior and bottom of hinge on the exterior. They don't look bent from here; standing proud from the back at the top is probably intentional (see link of ebay trunk below). And it is dovetailed so that's good too.

    I was expecting to see an early 19th century Penn dowry chest which has a well known size and construction and bracket feet, and this doesn't match with those characteristics. But painted chests continued to be made and that appears to be what this is.

    Given the two butted boards on the top, bottom, back (and maybe others), I think we can conclude this is later 19th century. Possibly made in US or maybe imported from Germany/Scandinavia. I would tend toward it being imported, because the top edge beading, the feet, the exposed lock mechanism, and faux paneling are unusual to me for US pieces. But someone who has more experience with later 19th century chests may recognize them. Here is something kind of close, they think theirs is Penn (though it may or may not be) - if you are able to get to the original link (ebay makes it hard): https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Ha...m43663.l10137&nordt=true&rt=nc&orig_cvip=true

    The best way to distinguish US or European would be the woods used for construction. I can't tell from here what woods are used, but maybe a carpenter or antique collector close to you could tell from close up.

    As for conservation of paint, it looks like most of your problems are on the front. You said the top was repainted? If you're in for a good read, here's a link you may find useful: https://www.si.edu/mci/english/learn_more/taking_care/coatings.html
  16. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    Thank you all for your comments and expertise! Now what to do with it... I did have my husband lift it up to get a shot of the bottom. Where the paint has come off I can see white shadows of what was there. Almost tempted to get out my oils and fill in the blanks! 2BFDA158-BE2C-4E68-BC5A-406A59DB5365.jpeg 833829A3-788B-4221-ADB0-892E60979B1C.jpeg
    Ghopper1924 likes this.
  17. patd8643

    patd8643 Well-Known Member

    Could the feet have been replaced?
    Ghopper1924 and Christmasjoy like this.
  18. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    I am not sure. They do appear to have been painted in the same red color with a stripe around it. Lots and Norwegians and Germans settled in this area, but my Rosemalers say it does not look Norwegian. Maybe someone’s art project 100 years ago, but the panels are totatally different painting than the top. Panels are very smooth to the touch and the top is very textured.
  19. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    It's a period 18th century 4 panel blanket/dower chest however, the feet & paint are not original which seriously lowers value.
    Is it Pennsylvania German? maybe, maybe not. The lid is attached in an odd way, it appears it doesn't close all the way, a gap between the lid & case that shouldn't be there no matter if american or european.
  20. TerriLynn

    TerriLynn Member

    Thank you. The lid does close completely. The hinges are quite loose, but with slight effort they do close. Thank you.
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