Robert Graboski, Foxboro, Massachusetts, April 1987; Vogel Collection no. 477.
This expertly crafted box is one of only three known examples. The first is a nearly identical box in the collection of the Chipstone Foundation (acc. no. 1992.005) and another in the collection of the Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington, Connecticut. The currently offered lot and the Chipstone Foundation’s example both have slanted lids and as such were referred to as “desks” or “desk boxes” in contemporaneous inventories. Exceedingly few examples survive today with slant lids. The Chipstone box is inlaid with small pewter initials “MM” while the Stanley-Whitman House is carved with the initials “MH” which are of similar size to the carved “ML” initials on the currently offered example. Both the Stanley-Whitman House’s box and the current lot are constructed by having the box’s front nailed to the sides while the sides of the Chipstone Foundation’s example are secured with dovetails. The ML box has punch work on its front and the edges of the top. For additional information on the MM box, see Robert F. Trent, “What can a Chair and a Box Do for You?” Maine Antique Digest, April 1987, pp. C10-C13.
In overall fine condition. dry early surface, The lock mechanism has been removed. There is a visible split between the two boards that make up the top and the bottom. There are some minor losses to edges commensurate with age and use. Traces of power post beetle larva throughout. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.