As Close to Easter Eggs as I’m Going to Get.

Well, it’s Easter here in the US, whether you are celebrating it in the religious sense, the secular sense or just annoyed because the Home Depot is closed. Not being able to send out any Easter Eggs, I will try to do the next best thing and share my pictures of painted chests.

(To bypass the expository content and go right to the photo set, click HERE.)

There seem to be four major categories of painting. First is just painting the chest to color it. Nothing artistic. Just paint.

Paint. Color. Nothing fancy.

Paint. Color. Nothing fancy.

Then there is faux graining. Making the wood look like something it isn’t. Better wood. More interesting wood. Some are more realistic. Some less so.

Simple faux graining.

Simple faux graining.

More elaborate graining. Creating a mitered panel chest.

More elaborate graining. Creating a mitered panel chest.

Decorative painting. Exploring ethnic and regional motifs.

Like this one.

Like this one.

Or this one.

Or this one.

Or this one.

Or this one.

Finally, there is what you might call the free form, abstract expressionism or “what were they thinking?” Such as:

Qué es? Yet compelling.

Qué es? Yet compelling.

Like faux graining only not quite.

Like faux graining only not quite.

Two for the price of one. Only twice as much.

Two for the price of one. Only twice as much.

You can see the entire set (now called an album) of 172 image by clicking HERE.

Soon, we will get back to the serious business of furniture exploration. But not today.

Back to Furniture Stuff. For the Time Being.

Enough with the attempts at humor, the hysteria, the mystery. Time to get back to the serious business of documenting furniture. My life’s work and passion. It’s something I do to kill time.

This is a set of pictures I took in driving back from Winston-Salem with a stop in Greensboro. Nothing too fancy but a lot of mid-level stuff and primitives. No pontificating. No analysis. No brilliant stories. No life lessons. Just furniture.

(Click HERE to see the 125 photo set.)

First highlight piece is a blanket chest with drawer and a till on top of the drawer. It must have been interesting to layout and construct. The drawer is useful to retrieve stored things when the chest is under 200 pounds of stuff.

Blanket chest with drawer. Click to see the interior with a till atop the drawer.

Blanket chest with drawer. Click to see the interior with a till atop the drawer.

The other variation on what we have come to expect is this dovetailed drawer. The dovetails are of the sliding variety and run vertically. One way to put a narrower drawer on a wider drawer front.

Vertical sliding dovetails. Click to see the corner cabinet in which the drawer dwells.

Vertical sliding dovetails. Click to see the corner cabinet in which the drawer dwells.

Many of us believe that the base is not original to the corner cabinet but a later addition. We could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.

And there are quite a few interesting pieces of attractive hardware.

A bail.

A bail.

And another bail.

And another bail.

A third bail.

A third bail.

Yet another bail!

Yet another bail!

But, wait!. There's more...  Click to see the entire 125 picture set again.

But, wait!. There’s more… Click to see the entire 125 picture set again.

Our Favorite Small Publisher is Going POD (Printing On Demand)

Let’s say you have just finished a book on Latvian linden ((Tilia cordata) campaign furniture. You believe in the book but marketing tells you you might only sell 25 to 30 books. Using the traditional printing model, you can’t make money printing 30 books. Shipping alone eats up all your profits. Using their new specialty printer, our friends will be able to quickly print limited interest books in a cost effective manner.

Their new, short run printer.

Their new, short run printer.

I am personally looking forward to the possibility of a greatly expanded, limited interest catalog. Those of us interested in truly obscure topics will no longer have to depend on hastily written, inaccurate Wikipedia articles. We can now have hastily written and inaccurate books as well.

If it’s in print, it must be true.

I Had Heard Rumors…

but I chose not to believe them. Just too horrible to consider.

But when faced with the ugly reality, I was forced to admit it must be true.

Dovetailed particle board!

What were they thinking?

Staring at if for a few terrifying minutes, I believe it cannot be considered “best practice”.

I’m all verklempt. I can’t go on anymore today.

On the lighter side, I did find another gout rocker.

Still just in North Carolina. Never found one in Oregon.

Still just in North Carolina. Never found one in Oregon.

Yeah, But What Is It?

They called it a 19th century Yellow Pine Lidded Storage Box. Accurate but not the whole story.

The local auction a few days back was a bit of a disappointment. I had high hopes for the other auction house at their Friday night auction. Unfortunately, this week, theirs wasn’t much better. At least from my perspective. Some might be thrilled.

Only a few things of interest. There is this one piece that defied an easy explanation. It is a yellow pine lidded storage box. But why does it take this form? I want to know the rest of the story. Let’s start with a look at the box in question.

Yellow pine lidded storage box, or is it?

Yellow pine lidded storage box, or is it?

Note the staple(?) on the side near the bottom. There is one on the other side as well. Was this an attachment point?

Here is the lidded part.

The lid, no hinges. Two battens hold the lid in place.

The lid, no hinges. Two battens hold the lid in place.

With a forged hasp.

Hand forged hasp. Can't order this one from a catalog.

Hand forged hasp. Can’t order this one from a catalog.

This view let’s you see the kerfed and rounded end. (Kerfing is placing a series of parallel saw cuts on the back of a board to allow it to bend.

Kerfed board wrapping the round end. Lots of nails.

Kerfed board wrapping the round end. Lots of nails.

Full 3/4" sides wrapped with 1/4" to 3/8" wood.

Full 3/4″ sides wrapped with 1/4″ to 3/8″ wood.

This interior view really shows the kerf cuts.

See the kerfs?  Makes bending without heat possible.

See the kerfs? Makes bending without heat possible.

And we need the top view.

The top view. Lots of nails.

The top view. Lots of nails.

Let me throw in this bonus tilt-top table. It is a full table and not a candle stand.

A bit rough but serviceable.

A bit rough but serviceable.

What makes this one interesting is the feet.

Would you call it a stylized talon? Click for an alternate view.

Would you call it a stylized talon? Click for an alternate view.

And the obligatory dovetail shot.

Less than satisfying. Might be machine cut

Less than satisfying. Might be machine cut

Not my favorite ever.

Not Much of an Auction

At least not for me.

Every Friday (mostly, kinda, sorta) there is an auction at a local auction house. On Thursday, I have lunch nearby with a friend and wander over to the auction house for their preview. While not all high-end stuff, there are usually a few things of interest. This week, not so much. At least not for me.

They had dolls, some tools, smalls. All the usual auction stuff, just no old furniture. I am getting desperate. My Flickr inventory of un-blogged photos is down to around 5,000. One or two productive weeks and I will be caught up. Then what will I do?

Against my better judgement, I am going to blog about the few interesting pieces in the building. Two of them are actually for next week’s auction. The first is this cylinder desk with bookshelf. Not that old. Machine cut dovetails but solid wood, rabbeted drawers bottoms.

Cylinder desk with bookshelf.  Could it be considered Eastlake?

Cylinder desk with bookshelf. Could it be considered Eastlake?

Bookshelf with unique shelf support system.

Bookshelf with unique shelf support system.

I think this is the cylinder of the cylinder desk. Click to see the the desk open.

I think this is the cylinder of the cylinder desk. Click to see the the desk open.

And this is the support system for the moving cylinder.

And this is the support system for the moving cylinder.

I like the ring pull.

They don't make ring pulls like this anymore. Ring doesn't seem to have a constant cross section.

They don’t make ring pulls like this anymore. Ring doesn’t seem to have a constant cross section.

And interesting carvings.

Nice carvings but a manufactured product.

Nice carvings but a manufactured product.

Here is a faux grained, painted chest. Not in this week’s auction.

Painted chest. Click to see an unusually small till.

Painted chest. Click to see an unusually small till.

And finally, a carved table with drawer. Not from this week’s auction.

Carved table with barley twist legs and stretcher.

Carved table with barley twist legs and stretcher.

I like the carved drawer pull.

Another pull they don't make anymore. Click to see an alternate view.

Another pull they don’t make anymore. Click to see an alternate view.

And it wouldn’t be my blog without dovetails.

Dovetails. My job here is done.

Dovetails. My job here is done.

How ’bout somethin’ American?

I am still recovering from the onslaught of outrage caused by my blog about French furniture. My promise to you is that I will not write about French furniture until the next time I do. And that’s a promise. I am still looking for the Liechtensteiner revival furniture that many of you have requested.

Let’s move on to some American furniture. Unless it’s English. Definitely not German.

These are pictures from my favorite auction house back in October. Not one of the catalog sales but certainly above average. There were two chest on stands, American, I believe, that are worthy of spilling some digital ink. First one is a chest on stand with serpentine stretchers.

Chest on stand. Turned legs and serpentine stretcher.

Chest on stand. Turned legs and serpentine stretcher.

I looked at a pull and saw that the bails were held on by cotter pin fittings.

Bails attached with cotter pins. Click for an inside view of the cotter pins

Bails attached with cotter pins. Click for an inside view of the cotter pins

Being a quality chest, the cotter pins inside the drawer are covered with a piece of leather (or dense cardboard) nailed in [place.

A leather patch to protect your tidy whities or other fine washable.

A leather patch to protect your tidy whities or other fine washables.

The other chest on stand has cabriole legs and pad feet. Note that the pulls on the top drawers are mounted above center. Other pulls seem to be mounted on the center line.

Chest on stand with them skinny little cabriole legs.

Chest on stand with them skinny little cabriole legs.

The frugal furniture maker on his (probably a him) nice walnut chest used a pine board for the top of the carcass. It’s the top of the chest, who’s looking? Nice dovetails, though.

A pine top on a walnut chest.

A pine top on a walnut chest.

Another interesting thing on top of the chest was a small foot stool. Its trifid feet tell me it’s a Philadelphia piece. Unless it’s English. Or Irish.

A nice stool with its younger cousin. Click to see the nice trifid feet.

A nice stool with its younger cousin. Click to see the nice trifid feet.

Click HERE to see the rest of the set. Lots more to see. And that’s a promise,

It’s a French Thing

The French really are different. Or at least their furniture is. I don’t know that many French people. I am uncomfortable making such a broad generalization about the French.

Living in North Carolina, the majority of the antique furniture I see has strong English influences with some German mixed in to make things interesting. When I see an identified piece of French furniture I take note. Dealers tell us that what we see is all “country” French furniture. Apparently French urban furniture is much more sophisticated and refined, so much so that it refuses to get on a ship and cross the Atlantic.

First thing you notice is all the carving. Doors, panels, drawers. They like to carve. (Click pictures to enlarge.)

There be carvings. Everywhere.

There be carvings. Everywhere.

And unique hardware. Here we revisit the frame mounted lock that locks two drawers.

Lock in the middle. High mortise on the left drawer and low bolt to the right. One key locks two drawers. No tiny dovetails here.

Lock in the middle. High mortise on the left drawer and low bolt to the right. One key locks two drawers. No tiny dovetails here.

It there is a hardware person out there that can shed anymore light on this lock, feel free to share.

There is this lightly carved chest with some interesting features.

Alleged 18th century French chest. It's carved, too.

Alleged 18th century French chest. It’s carved, too.

And an interesting strap hinge on the exterior of the chest.

Hinge is attached with clenched nails.

Hinge is attached with clenched nails.

On this chest, the battens are rabbeted onto the end of the lid and not under the lid like on the small boarded chest.

Battens on the end of the lid. Nailed into the end grain . Not up from the bottom and clenched.

Battens on the end of the lid. Nailed into the end grain . Not up from the bottom and clenched.

French furniture also comes with spare parts.

Not sure where they go.

Not sure where they go.

And then there is this desk. What can I say?

I think it speaks for itself.

I think it speaks for itself.

To see the entire set of these pieces and more, click HERE The last two desks are not believed to be French but are in the same shop and interesting. .

Like a Boarded Chest Only Smaller

While not fully recovered from yesterday’s trauma, I am doing much better. Aside from the occasional flashback, life is pretty much back to normal.

I came across this small chest at a local antiques. By small I mean 15″ wide by 9″ high by 8″ deep. The dealer claims it’s old and I have no reason to doubt it. It has wrought nails, snipe hinges, hand tool marks. They are asking for a lot of money ’cause it’s old.

(Clicking on images enlarges them except where noted.)

Meet my new best friend. Friend in that I can't afford to buy it.

Meet my new best friend. Friend in that I can’t afford to buy it.

A side view shows the wrought nails and the treatment on the “foot” of the chest. Not a bootjack or an ogee. It is rounded by chisel.

Chisel rounded profile on the end board.

Chisel rounded profile on the end board.

Back view shows more wrought nails and the snipe hinges.

This chest has got back.

This chest has got back.

The bottom view show more of the profile rounding on the end boards and reveals a nail where the wood split out.

Bottom view. Click to see a closeup of the nail and missing wood.  Also note the tool marks.

Bottom view. Click to see a closeup of the nail and missing wood. Also note the tool marks.

This view show that the batten is rabbeted into the lid. Wrought nails driven from below at an angle are used to attach the battens. The front and back are rabbeted across the sides and bottom setting them into the box.

Lots of wrought nails. And rabbets.

Lots of wrought nails. And rabbets.

This is an inside view showing a snipe hinge and the rabbet on the back panel.

A snipe hinge and rabbet.

A snipe hinge and rabbet.

Click HERE to see the the entire set of images of this set.

I’ve got some less than perfect walnut from my stack out back. I might have to make me a chest. Only smaller.

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