1837 New York Grain-painted Pine Lock Box

Value (2016) | $1,200 Auction$1,800 Auction
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GUEST:
A collector friend of mine had purchased it from a local estate. And several years later he offered it for sale. And I fell in love with it.

APPRAISER:
So in Florida, a local estate in Florida.

GUEST:
Yes, ma'am, yes, ma'am.

APPRAISER:
Interesting. And so did he buy it from the estate itself or...

GUEST:
I'm not sure, I just know it came from a local estate.

APPRAISER:
What I love about it is that it is this lock box or lock chest that's got original grain painting on it. The box itself is a pine box, which was a very inexpensive wood in the 19th century. And they always painted pine. You would not really have seen pine furniture just by itself. The wood was too available and inexpensive for pine furniture to stand on its own. It is in just superb condition.

GUEST:
Oh thank you.

APPRAISER:
You can see the graining across the front of it. There's also that panel in the center, which has an acanthus leaf carving on it. And little initials when you look really carefully, you can see there's an "R.C." And let's turn it to the side and show the graining on this side. The painter even painted in a knot from the wood here. He just did a superb job. And it's in incredible condition. And if you can flip it up and we'll look at the bottom. We see probably the maker of the box. It's possibly the owner's name, R. Cole from Mayfield in Montgomery County, New York, and dated 1837. I did a little work, and there are Coles up in that area, but we'd need to do some more genealogy to figure out who actually R. Cole was.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
So let's turn it back again.

GUEST:
Sure.

APPRAISER:
The R.C. on the front is matching the R. Cole on the bottom. Any idea on what these boxes were used for?

GUEST:
My guess is it's a diminutive blanket box, at least that's what I call it. But I would just think just personal storage.

APPRAISER:
I think you're absolutely right. That people would like to, in the business, talk about this being a miniature blanket chest. But indeed, I don't think it is. I think it was just a lock box for someone to put their important personal possessions in, and to be able to lock it. It's fascinating that you have the original key from 1837. I mean when does that happen? It's a functional lock. So it's really a terrific piece. I would say if it were to sell at auction it would probably sell in the $1,200 to $1,800 range.

GUEST:
That's very good.

APPRAISER:
And because of its original paint.

GUEST:
I paid nine. I think I did okay.

APPRAISER:
I think you did, yeah.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2016)
$1,200 Auction$1,800 Auction
Event
Orlando, FL (June 18, 2016)
Category
Furniture
Material
Paint , Pine

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