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Antique early American folk art Pennsylvania German smoke painted pine blanket chest featuring turned feet and inner compartment. Circa 1st half of 19th century (1820s-1840s). Marked on backside with the initials MJP.
Soot was one of the earliest materials used by humans to decorate their surroudings. In the late 18th century and well into the 19th century smoke painting was a decorative technique used on furniture. It was cheap and the smoke could be manipulated into a variety of patterns, from waves of haze to leopard-like spots. White and yellow were the most common background colors used. Although not as common as the white and yellow backgrounds there are pieces with other background colors like red and blue are especially rare and valued by collectors of smoke-painted furniture.
Good antique condition, wear and distressing commensurate with age and use, finish / paint loss, wear, wood loss, splitting, fading. Lid no longer has hinge
19.5" x 40" x 25.5"h