regarding the carved pattern I showed last night. Several readers commented asking about & speculating on the source for the motif. I never really give much thought to it myself, mainly because there is no evidence of what the joiners based their stuff on. While it can be fun to speculate about these patterns, I concentrate on how to carve them, which ones relate to what, etc.
While I like this Marshfield chest, its carving to me is actually rather bland. Is it a sunburst, a flower, maybe points on a compass, degrees in a circle, etc…all good ideas, but who knows. Not me. It is very regimented, just not very accurate. The deeper gouge cuts are not really lined up with the centerpoint. As far as the tools go, I will shoot something about carving this pattern when I get back to the shop on Sunday.
Below is a carving that I have favored for years, this example from the top rail of a joined chest. It always is pleasing to my eye. Clearly flower-based, but as always, quite stylized, as all these carvings are. An excellent carving from a much more accomplished carver than the preceeding. While there are better seventeenth-century carvings than this, it remains my favorite.