Rare Painted Decorated SPICE CHEST
Northeast, ca. third quarter, 19th century. Original paint on what appears to be white pine. Just reacquired from the collector to whom I sold it to years ago, this spice chest has a red/bittersweet/salmon base color (dependent upon lighting) with black painted lettering and line decoration. Note the whimsical variety of fonts used, and on some drawer fronts decorative flourishes, and also note the drawer widths vary. Hand-planed boards. Four drawers labeled CLOVES, NUTMEG, CINNAMON, and ALLSPICE. And four compartments, accessed by a slant lid, labeled MUSTARD, CREAM OF TARTAR, GINGER, and SODA. I have never encountered a similar piece in wood, only in tin. Drawers are nail constructed, with some reinforcing later nails added. About 8 inches tall x 14 wide x 6 7/8 deep. Terrific structural condition with expected minor blemishes to the paint. May have been for a home pantry or for a country store.