Book Box in Crusty Bittersweet Paint
Probably Northeast, ca. early to mid 19th century.
Stoutly carved from a solid piece of what appears to be maple, in original very dry crusty bittersweet painted surface. Subtly scratch-carved with 12 pinwheels, five on each side panel and one on either end. The extensive use of pinwheels are probably decorative, yet in early times this symbol was also used to repulse witches. About 6 ½ inches tall x 4 wide x 1 7/8 deep.
Possibly used to store spruce gum, or to hide valuables on a shelf of books.