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Shepherd’s Marriage Chest Transylvania

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Furniture1899 of 13836Old trunk i found in the trashWhite sofa
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    Posted 3 years ago

    (121 items)

    Originally a “mystery” when posted, an expert* on these European trunks graciously answered my inquiry. He says this “shepherd’s marriage box” originating in Transylvania dates to 1890-1910. Made of beechwood. *Credit to John Cornall,

    Mystery Solved
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    1. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 years ago
      In Picture #3, where the curved lines meet the straight line, there are signs this was carved with a router. Look at the spot where the curved line runs across to the other side of the straight line. Then, on the next curved lines you can see an overlap done by a router. On another curved line, the curve stops short of meeting the straight line. Very suspicious!
      And the legs look like 1x4 planks which would not be very sturdy for holding up a blanket chest for who knows how many years.
      The end pieces on the lid look like they were salvaged from some other piece of furniture such as a chair or crib.
      The finish looks like it was deliberately distressed to make it look old.
      Check to see what holds it together. And check your bottom to see what it's made of; there seems to be an add-on piece of wood visible from the front that was probably to keep the bottom from bowing.
      I would concerned about claims of this being very old.
      Just my amateur observations.
    2. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
      I have to love this piece. I can tell you that the person who built it was one of two things. He was either way the hell older than me or he had the best master out there teach him how to fake an antique. I will start with the wood it appears from the pictures to be Poplar wood. Poplar is a hardwood but it is the softest and easiest hardwood to work. It has the ability to bend long before it will break. Years ago it was commonly used in crates, boxes, furniture, wagons anything that had to bear weight. This item wasn't planed or sanded it was scraped. Long ago few had a plane but many built things. Without a plane you scraped the wood to smooth it. Any sharp piece of metal or piece of broken glass was used. I have been known to intentionally break glass to use to scrape a piece I am repairing so it looks original. The dowel for a pivot or hinge is common in an aged piece. The dowel in the picture is one thing I question. It appears to be a machine made dowel where the original should have been hand whittled. An easy answer would be the original broke and was replaced in a more recent time. I wonder if you could take the time to do a second post showing pictures of one side, the bottom, full shot of the interior and the back? That would be four more pictures. This is rustic enough and has the right appearance to have caught my attention. The majority of posts are well polished examples which is fine but this shows some signs of old world craftsmanship before it was refined. Glad you shared this.
    3. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
      Bobby725 good observation, kudos
    4. JoeyC, 3 years ago
      Thanks to all who responded! I edited the posting to reflect the identifying and dating information graciously given to me by an expert in England. He is credited in the description; his website is wonderful too!
    5. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 3 years ago
      I will take your word but the grain and color of the item shown don't come close to being beech wood. If you are happy so am I. Thanks for sharing it, it shows old world craftsmanship seldom seen anymore.
    6. Karl-Fodor, 2 years ago
    7. Karl-Fodor, 2 years ago
      The picture was taken in 1955 by the Hungarian Ethnographic Museum.
    8. Karl-Fodor, 2 years ago
      The body of the crate was made of beech wood everywhere. From the inside of the photo, it can be seen that the bottom was made of poplar. As far as I can see this has not been counterfeit, a part of it is not genuine, the lath being hung in the middle of its bottom. They must have put in such a difficult thing that they did not trust the old board to bear it, and they wanted to confirm it. The box needs to be treated quickly because it has live wood pests!
    9. Karl-Fodor, 2 years ago
      The box has been made like this for about 1,000 years. What makes you think it was made after 1890?

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