Cherrywood Child's Chest, ca. 1825

Value (2013) | $20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction

I understand this Pennsylvania Federal child's chest of drawers descended in your family. You inherited it, is that right?

Yes, I did, from my grandmother.

And how long have you owned the chest?

I've had it since 1991.

Inside is an incredible history which gives the maker of this chest. And on this drawer is a label with the provenance. "This bureau was made by John Spangler "in Abbottstown, Adams County, PA, who passed away in 1856." And it descended as follows, from John Spangler to Agnes Wolf, his daughter, and then descended on through the family right to you. So you're really a direct descendant.

Correct. Yes.

Well, this little chest is really a token of love. It's from John Spangler to his daughter, Agnes. And this was made right around 1830 and it's an incredible little child's chest. What I love are these little turned feet with ring turnings, this diamond-inlaid skirt.


Delicately graduated drawers, this wonderful bonnet inlaid with star motifs. These are the original finials with acorns in the top, which was a classical motif. It's made of local cherry wood which would have been in Pennsylvania at the time, so he's using local trees for the primary wood. And Mr. Spangler used white pine secondary wood in the drawers. And this is tulip poplar in the back. That greenish streak and the very creamy color is actually tulip poplar.

Oh, okay, okay.

Well, because of the rarity of this piece and the documentation-- knowing the owner, knowing the maker-- and it has the original finish... I would estimate this at auction to be between $20,000 and $30,000. It's an incredible, incredible piece of furniture.

Well, my husband will have to listen to me now. He doesn't like all my stuff.

Appraisal Details

Leslie Keno Art Advisory
Waccabuc, NY
Update (2013)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Appraised value (1999)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Baltimore, MD (June 19, 1999)

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