New England Painted Wooden Boxes

Value (2013) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

Well, they were in my mother's parents' place in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire, all right. I'm glad to hear that. Because I've always believed that these dome-top boxes with the reeded tops were from New Hampshire. So when you said these had a New Hampshire history, I went, "Bingo, here's proof!" And these things, the two of them belonged to... Her name was Mary Churchill. Her initials are on the front of it. This would have been made by a sweetheart or husband. The thing that is special about the boxes is the paint, a beautiful color. A lot of these have suffered a fate, and that is people strip all the paint off and refinish them. Because if you look at this, you look inside, this box is made of eastern white pine, and that's a wood that would be indigenous to New Hampshire in great quantity. It was only popular-- "Take all the paint off, I don't want it"-- because they wanted to get down to the original pine. Thank goodness people in your family to whom these were passed left them alone. As a result, these two boxes with this lovely yellow, very delicate decoration, the reeded top, original surface, they really are quite valuable.

Oh! You got any ideas?

I do. (laughing) Do you have any idea?

Highly prized in our family.

Well, I should think so. Boxes in the market are magic. People love painted boxes. Interesting. I think in an auction situation, these would easily be estimated in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.

Wow! Really? And that's with nothing in them! Who would have thought?

Appraisal Details

Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2013)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)
Folk Art
Paint , Wood

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