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Decorative Arts 2023

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Dower Chest Made for Henry Winter, Dauphin (now Lebanon) County

27 in. x 53 1/2 in. x 23 3/4 in. (68.58 cm x 135.89 cm x 60.33 cm)

Peter Ranck, American

Object Type: Decorative Arts
Creation Place: North America, American, Pennsylvania
Medium and Support: Painted pine
Credit Line: Gift of the William A. Coulter Fund
Accession Number: 1960.8

Current Location: 19th Century Gallery

Winterthur Museum & Country Estate; Paint, Pattern, and People: Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1725-1850; 04/02/2011-01/08/2012.

There is an oral tradition that chests with this overall decorative scheme of three arched panels and a surround of alternating blue and red diamonds are from the Jonestown area. Two brilliantly colored paper and wool rosettes with crimped edges are attached through their centers with brass upholstery nails. Suspended between the rosettes is a blue and white checkered woven tape. Oral tradition refers to these tapes as "stocking strings," presumably for hanging personal items belonging to the owner. (Referenced and illustrated in Wendy A. Cooper and Lisa Minardi, Paint, Pattern & People: Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1725-1850 (Winterthur, Delaware: Winterthur Museum, 2011, 90-91.)

Inscribed inside the top of the till with the name "Henry Winter," presumably the owner of the chest. Henry Winter was a client to whom Peter Ranck sold a chest, bedsteasd, kitchen dresser, table and dought trought in 1804 as well as chest, dough trough, and table in 1810. (cited in Wendy A. Cooper and Lisa Minardi, Paint, Pattern & People, Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1725-1850, The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 2011, 90-92.)

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