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New England Blanket Chest Detail Photos

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Trunks1615 of 2518Last one for a whileLate 18th Century Six Board Blanket Chest In Pine- New England Origin
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    Posted 6 years ago

    BHock45
    (807 items)

    Photo 1: Closeup of snipe hinge, which is original

    Photo 2: Close up of one of the nails holding the chest together. Looks like a rose head nail.

    Photo 3: Detail of the front of the drawer joinery. Facing us is the drawer side.
    Photo4: Close up of the lock. Not sure if this is original, I have doubts.

    Thanks for looking!

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    Comments

    1. jscott0363 jscott0363, 6 years ago
      The craftsmanship from way back then was remarkable and definitely built to last for generations!!
    2. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      jscott, thanks for the comment, I agree. A few nails banged in here and there over the last 200 years, but for the most part it holds together well. Especially compared to some of the junk they call furniture these days. later!
    3. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      jscott, agram, mikelv, walksoftly, blunder, and sean thanks for the loves.
    4. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      My WIFI is acting up and the computer as well. Can't open images right now. Looks like it has seen a bit of work but nothing overly serious. As for banging in nails over the last 200 years.....I hadn't planted the tree it was milled from back then. Hehehe!
    5. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      fhrjr, no worries. Thanks for chiming in. Please let me know your opinion if you do get a chance to look at the pics. Always appreciated!!!
    6. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      I would give you 1870 to 1890 based on the pictures. It could be later but those were called country dovetails in New England years ago. There were fewer and bigger joints. The tell tail observation is the locking upper and lower dovetails.

      See how the upper one curves downward and the lower one curves upward to lock everything together? The style of cutting the joint lasted in Europe well into the 1940's but not with a joint that large. European craftsmen were the last to accept machine cut joints. In New England machine cut joints were common after 1890 and more popular after 1900 then during the 20's it went crazy along with press back chairs. I have some concerns about this item but nothing a picture would satisfy. I see it as a good night out on the town, not McDonald's.

      I wondered about measurements? Possibly waist high? Maybe 30 or 34"?
    7. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      fhr, thanks for the analysis. I see what you are saying....I think I have a good picture what is going on here with with piece. The good news is that I believe that most of what is original, is still here. I don't know if you looked at the previous post, but I believe that the bottom piece which makes up the legs is NOT original. It doesn't look right, and I can see newer nails holding it in. They added that because much of the original legs or base/legs are worn down. This would make sense if the piece is as old as I am saying. I would have to take a lot more pics to show you what I mean, but if I removed the current leg piece, it would very similar to this: http://www.redschoolhouseantiques.com/ItemDetail.cfm?ItemID=53

      The next piece that I am not sure of is the drawer front. It looks to have been somehow modified to match the design of the new legs. I can't figure it out but something is not quite right there. Check out the joinery on the back side of the drawer I am going to put it up as picture #4. It is one huge pin nailed in on both sides. I hope I am making sense. Anyway, have a great night!
    8. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      Also changed pic. 1 to the side leg piece that I believe to not be original.
    9. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      The front and rear drawer joinery contradict each other in terms of age. The dovetails by virtue of the joint itself never required a nail or other fastener, it is a locking joint. As for the bottom, a good many New England blanket chests were made to sit flat on the floor without legs or other support. The floors were bare planks and the drawer would slide easily and there was no need for additional ventilation. As time went by people could afford carpeting and things got a bit musty so to speak. It was common to add legs or a decorative type bottom to elevate the thing a bit for air circulation. Some newer ones actually have air vents cut into the bottom. The one in your link give little except a picture. I question how they authenticated it as being that old. They say it is 1750's but your dovetails can't justify that age unless the drawer was rebuilt in later years. Also I seriously question the drawer back being original. I would guess from the picture it was rebuilt at some point in time. Modifications are common and usually have little effect on value as it is a given fact. Kind of like rebuilding the engine in an antique car. You have the base unit and also the frustration of sorting out what is what.
    10. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      This is probably a dumb question, but did the bottom drawers always have backs on them?
    11. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      Yes and normally if it was a multiple drawer unit there were what was called dust panels above each drawer. Older and better quality dressers always had dust panels between the drawers. Lower quality units assumed the upper drawer bottom would act as a dust barrier which it didn't.
    12. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 6 years ago
      a couple other things: the dovetails appear to be nailed or glued on pieces rather than carved from the same piece as the front piece. that seems like cheating to me. also the beading/molding on the top of the legs looks like 1900s to me.
    13. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      yes, ho2cultcha, you are correct. I believe the the decorative leg pieces are additions simply nailed onto the original outside of the chest. If I popped these off, the chest would be in its original condition (not counting the drawer, and the left snipe hinge. Which brings me back to the picture I gave to the to above. I was trying to say that if I removed the bottom pieces the legs would look like those on the chest in the link.

      This brings me to the next stupid question. Is it unthinkable to remove these bottom pieces (the decorative legs)? The original piece sat on the ground like fhr was explaining before. As far the drawer goes....I don't think there is anything I can do because most of it looks like it is non-original.
    14. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      But something else that confuses me is the back end of the drawer. It is one pin cut and nailed. I am not sure if that is cheating ho2culthcha. Refer to this link, the dovetail looks just like the one pictured as "17th century". Also is this statement,

      "Toward the end of the 17th century, the Dutch created the concept of the interlocking “dovetail” joint. Early dovetail construction sometimes featured only one pin and it was often nailed in place. Early Colonial ( 18th century) dovetail joints featured three or four stubby dovetails and they were glued, not nailed. By the Federal period (late 18th and early 19th century) dovetails became finer and more precise until evolving into the five or six slender pins seen in mid 19th century Victorian furniture."

      Btw there are some very old nails in this piece, roseheads, I am not sure if they were reused or what. I am acutally quite confused.
    15. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      Here is the link:

      http://www.antiquetrader.com/antiques/how_to_determine_the_age_of_antique_furniture
    16. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
      I am 100% sure the bottom decorative leg pieces are simply nailed in with modern cut nails, I just checked. Is it totally out of the question to carefully pry these pieces off? The result will be a chest that sits on the floor with a very very worn down bottom, as this piece should have.
    17. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      Removing the bottom isn't impossible but does present challenges. Once removed you will also have an area where the finishes are a major mismatch. If I was going to remove it I would first consider my investment and the future value if I go for it. Then I would pull all the nails first. Pulling the nails will damage the replacement base but should leave the main chest intact except nail holes. The nail holes can be left or drilled out and plugged with dowels. If the nail holes are small you can spray them with water or boiled linseed oil and they will swell up and be almost invisible.
    18. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      My other comment is: When you speak of European dovetail joints you need to remember this wasn't made there. Hand cut dovetails in Europe went far into the 1940's before they were going out of business and accepted machine cut joints. Their craftsmanship was far superior but the cost to produce it wasn't.
    19. trunkingforfun, 6 years ago
      Thanks for all this education.

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