Important Heinrich Miller Chippendale Sulfur-Inlaid Sycamore Blanket Chest, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Dated 1781
20,000 - 30,000 USD
Important Heinrich Miller Chippendale Sulfur-Inlaid Sycamore Blanket Chest
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Inscribed HEINRICH MILLER ANNO 1781.
Height 27 1/2 in. by Width 23 1/2 in. by Depth 54 1/4 in.
Secondary wood: white pine. In overall very good condition. Patch to front left side. Dovetails added to interior of top to prevent further shrinkage.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Retaining its original wrought iron drawer pulls and ball feet, this chest is a unique example of Pennsylvania German sulfur-inlaid furniture made of sycamore. It is inlaid in sulfur with the name of its original owner and date of manufacture, “Henrich Miller / Anno 1781” of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It is also elaborately embellished with mixed wood inlays including a twelve-point compass star at the center of the façade and arches and panels on the front and sides.
Lisa Minardi illustrates and discusses this chest in her article “Sulfur Inlay in Pennsylvania German Furniture: New Discoveries,” published in American Furniture, edited by Luke Beckerdite (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2015): figs. 152-3, p. 162. She identifies three possible candidates for the original owner who lived in Dauphin and Lebanon counties at the time this chest was made. One is Henry Miller Jr., son of Henry Miller Sr. and Anna Maria Kimmerling, who was baptized at St. Jacob’s (Kimmerling’s) Reformed Church in Lebanon County in 1767. Another candidate is Heinrich Miller (d. 1802) who was a sponsor with his wife Magdalena at a baptism as the German Lutheran Church in Hummelstown in 1767. Another Heinrich Miller signed the petition to establish Dauphin County in 1785.1
This chest is one of a related group of Dauphin County chests identified by Minardi with sulfur-inlaid names/initials, dates ranging from 1769 to 1793 and mixed wood compass star inlays.2 Like other chests in the group, this chest has a till compartment with an angled front board.3 Similar twelve-point compass stars are found on two chests in the group including one made for Magdalena Fischborn in 1781 and one made for her brother Ludwig Fischborn in 1783.4
1 Lisa Minardi, “Sulfur Inlay in Pennsylvania German Furniture: New Discoveries,” American Furniture, edited by Luke Beckerdite (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2015): 164.
2 This group of chests is discussed and illustrated by Minardi, pp. 157-167.
3 Ibid, fig. 153, p. 162.
4 Ibid, fig. 142, p. 158 and fig. 157, p. 164.