carved chest, fall 2011

carved chest fall 2011

Here is the finished chest that I was putting hinges on yesterday.  H: 31″ W: 48″ D: 20″

There are many New England examples that are composed like this, oak carcass with pine secondary wood. So for this chest, the floor boards are white pine, as is the lid & 2 rear panels. I tried to mostly make this one with bits of wood left in the shop from one log or another. The two front muntins are sawn white oak, the front frame otherwise is riven red oak. The end rails, muntins and panels are riven white oak…you get the picture – a patchwork of timber.

carved chest fall 2011 open

The carvings are based yet one more time on the work of Thomas Dennis and his “shop tradition” as it’s called in the furniture history arena. You can see tons of this carving on the blog over the past 3 years. It’s my most common group of carvings, because it’s so varied and you can combine them every which way. It appears here on the blog listed as either Thomas Dennis’ work, Ipswich (the New England town he lived in) or Devon – the English county where this work seems to stem from… I call it by any or all of these monikers.

bracket and S scrolls

This detail is the bracket under the front rail. You can see the S-scrolls carved in the stile and bottom rail; as well as part of the criss-crossed S scroll on the wide muntin. This pattern in its multi-varied forms is the subject of the 2nd video I did with Lie Nielsen – there’s enough variations of this form that I was able to cook over 100 minutes of it for that DVD.


Here is 1/2 of the carving that runs across the upper front rail. This one’s lots of fun. (click this one.  for some reason it’s cropped in my view. When you click it, you should see 7 1/2 circles…)

I’m using the same sorts of carvings for the next chest I just started, so you’ll see more of this coming this winter.

4 thoughts on “carved chest, fall 2011

  1. You are out of this world my friend.
    The upper front rail circles and the bracket detail really set the whole thing off.
    It’s a beautiful piece.

    It’s neat viewing and appreciating something new now, that will be held in just as high esteem 10 generations from now.

    Thank you for sharing your talent.


  2. Love it!

    Curiously, the bottom of the panels remind me of HR Gigers work….your an artist Peter, do you see the eyes and mouth/teeth ?

  3. The mysterious two-panel chest Walton sold in 1976, dated 1677 [?], just before I arrived at the MFAB, had these ultra-wide muntins. Unfortunately, nobody has been able to locate the negs or pictures of it, except for a couple slides I have of the date on the end. Ned Cooke looked for them 25 years ago. Of course, no assurance it is American. This is very impressive. Of course I didn’t win the lottery, again.

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