PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ADELAIDE DE MENIL AND EDMUND CARPENTER
The blanket chest is one of a group of chests made in the Shaftsbury area that share identical construction characteristics and ornamental painting in mustard, green, red, and brown. One was formerly in the collection of Leigh Keno and sold at Christie’s, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver & Chinese Export, January 20, 2012, sale 2433, lot 188. Another is in the collection of the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont. Three others are illustrated by Dean Fales Jr. in American Painted Furniture 1660-1880 (New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1972): nos. 371-3, p. 221. Two of the aforementioned examples are signed and dated 1824 by Thomas Matteson of South Shaftsbury. This group of chests is the focus of Caroline Hebb’s article “A Distinctive Group of Early Vermont Painted Furniture,” in The Magazine Antiques (September 1973): 458-461. Recent research indicates that these inscriptions likely refer to ownership rather than a maker.1
1 Cynthia van Allen Schaffner, “Matteson Group Chests,” Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (New York: 2004): pp. 307-308.
Krashes, David. (1998) "The South Shaftsbury, Vermont, Painted Wooden Chests", Rural New England Furniture: People, Place, and Production. The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings, 26-28 June 1998, editor Peter Benes, Boston University, pp. 226-235.
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