I did something different Sunday morning and wandered down to the Legion (as they say in Western PA) for a small antiques show. Not my usual Sunday morning activity. Shops don’t usually open until noon or later. I made my $5 donation, got a colorful wristband and went in.

There was a nice assortment antiques. Nothing fabulous but no flea market finds either. Then there was this chest:

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

It’s the same domed chest of which I’ve written in the last two blogs but now in a retail setting:

It escaped only to be recaptured.

It escaped only to be recaptured.

 

The dealer in attendance told me that the spousal dealer had just purchased this at an auction in Albemarle, NC. That spouse had headed out to some local estate sales and was not available to confirm the story.

In the course of a month, this chest was sold at a local auction, gone west around a hundred miles to be sold at another auction and come back to the area to be sold again. It was now retailing for $795. I wonder what it went for at the first auction?

Another dealer had this rather sophisticated chest:

Nice chest although obviously refinished.

Nice chest although obviously refinished.

What makes it sophisticated to me is the dovetail layout and the turned feet. The sides are attached to the front with half-blind dovetails:

Sides inferior to the front.

Sides inferior to the front.

And the back was inset into the sides with half-blind dovetails:

Back in inferior to the sides.

Back in inferior to the sides.

With attractive turned feet:

Four matching feet.

Four matching feet.

Not your typical blanket chest. I’ve mostly see that dovetail arrangement on Tennessee and Kentucky sugar chests. Possibly on cellarettes but I am not as interested in them. This dealer felt sure it was from costal Virginia.

My first insight came looking at the foot position. I would expect the feet to be more under the chest supporting the bottom. The feet are actually more to the outside of the chest and are supporting the bottom and the carcass:

Supports the weight of the carcass and the contents of the chest.

Supports the weight of the carcass and the contents of the chest.

The legs have tenons that come up through the mortised bottom and are screwed to the case:

The tenon is screwed to the case. Notice the over-cuts in the sides from the half-blind dovetails.

The tenon is screwed to the case. Notice the over-cuts in the sides from the half-blind dovetails.

This foot arrangement makes sense in that people (including dealers) tend to stack stuff onto the chest meaning there could be more weight borne by the carcass than by the bottom.

The other insight came from noticing this little dark spot on the left front corner of the carcass:

Dark on a light case.

Dark on a light case.

Looking at the till gave me the answer:

Till is on the left where most are.

Till is on the left where most are. Nicely molded.

The till lid swings around a pintle hinge. There are short dowels coming out from either end of the lid that are then buried into the case. The dowels can be cut from or added to the lid:

Short dowel from either end are buried into the carcass.

Short dowels from either end are buried into the carcass to make the hinge. The lid is installed as the carcass is assembled.

The dark patch lines up with one of the pintles leading me to believe that it is a patch in the case where the lid was repaired or replaced. A small piece of the carcass was chiseled out to allow the lid to be removed (and/or repaired).

A repair?

A repair? Looks like there is an over-cut from the removal of the lid.

I have wondered how one repairs/replaces the lid if necessary.

Now I know. Maybe.