Sunday, January 16, 2011

Carved Box, 1660–85

Attributed to John Thurston (American, 1607–1685) Dedham or Medfield, Massachusetts White oak, red oak, southern yellow pine
9 1/2 x 26 3/4 x 15 1/2 in. (24.1 x 67.9 x 39.4 cm)
The most common small storage unit in the seventeenth century was the rectangular box with a hinged lid. Usually made of oak and ornamented with carving, boxes offered safe-keeping for a variety of objects, such as books, documents, writing utensils, jewelry, and small items of apparel. The front of this example is richly carved with paired foliated S-scrolls and leafage. The initials of the unidentified first owner, "MH," are carved in the center.

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