This chest possesses a uniquely carved central panel and half columns very reminiscent of those present on joined chests produced in and around Wethersfield, Connecticut. The moldings flanking the panels retain remnants of their original paint decoration exactly like those associated with Wethersfield joinery. A chest in the Dudley Seymour Collection of the Connecticut Historical Society (acc. no. 1945.1.1170) has closely related half columns and the carved flanking flower heads on its panels relate directly to those on the currently offered lot (George Dudley Seymour Furniture Collection in the Connecticut Historical Society
, (Hartford, CT: Connecticut Historical Society, 1958), no. 6). The large flower head is incised with parallel gouge work that is associated with Thomas Stoughton III (1624-1684). Joshua Lane and Donald White believe that Stoughton’s shop tradition served as a prototype for the "so-called ‘Sunflower’ group of case furniture traditionally attributed to Wethersfield woodworker, Peter Blin.” Therefore, it is not surprising to find Wethersfield characteristics on the currently offered lot. Another chest with the similar parallel gouge work and carving is in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum (acc. no. 36.250.1) (Robert Bishop, American Furniture: 1620-1720
, (Dearborn, MI: Edison Institute, 1975, p. 12)). Tangentially related is a joined chest in the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design (acc. no. 20.625) and a document box in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no.10.125.9) (Christopher P. Monkhouse and Thomas S. Michie, American Furniture in Pendleton House
, (Providence, RI: Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1986), pp. 52-3 no. 1; and, Frances Gruber Safford, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Early Colonial Period: The Seventeenth-Century and William and Mary Styles
, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), p. 175-7, no. 73).
For additional information on the Stoughton shop tradition see Joshua W. Lane and Donald P. White III, “Fashioning Furniture and Framing Community: Woodworkers and the Rise of a Connecticut River Valley Town,” American Furniture 2005, (Milwaukee, WI: Chipstone Foundation, 2005), pp. 146-238; and, Joshua W. Lane and Donald P. White III, The Woodworkers of Windsor: A Connecticut Community of Craftsmen and Their Work, 1635-1715, (Deerfield, Massachusetts: Historic Deerfield, Inc., 2003), pp. 57-68.