Painted "Bucher" Box, ca. 1800
Decorated box, found in my grandparents' home. It's in the style which I believe is called a Bucher box. It's common to eastern Pennsylvania. There are numerous other boxes that have similar kinds of paintings of flowers on them, sometimes with a family name in the center, sometimes with buildings or paintings of people on them. I believe the box was either made for or given to my fifth-great-grandfather, probably back shortly before the year 1800. The name was the family name, the spelling's a little bit different, but it's kind of printed on phonetically. The immigrant in that family was named Philip, but that's all I know.
So, you're right in terms of your attribution to Heinrich Bucher...
Who was well-known in the areas of Berks County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, around 1800. And who is thought to have produced these boxes, document boxes in various forms and shapes. This is a document box with its original hasp and then a cotter-pin hinge holding the lid in place. And you raise an interesting point, which is that for decades, and probably hundreds of years, these have been known as Bucher boxes.
But there is some current scholarship that indicates that Mr. Bucher was like Philip Dresir. He was the owner of the box and not the maker of the box. But it's... that terminology has been handed down for such a long period of time, that in the absence of a known maker, they're referred to as Bucher boxes. What's really interesting about this box is the condition of the box, and if I can just flip it around to the back, you see how brilliant those colors are. I mean it's tremendously fresh, and it's obviously been treated with respect for the length of time that it's existed, which is probably since 1800. So when we are looking at value, I would place an auction estimate at somewhere in the vicinity of $10,000 to $15,000, which is really pretty conservative. They have sold for a lot more money than that. So the insurance on this is normally computed at twice the auction estimate.
So somewhere in the range of $20,000 to $30,000.
I must talk to my insurance man.
You must. It's a treasure, and it's a pleasure to have seen it here today.
Thank you, Nancy.
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