American Pine Jelly Cupboard, Pennsylvania, probably Lehigh Valley or Lancaster County, c. 1820-40
Item # 130102WPP16
This is a simply gorgeous Early American Pennsylvania Pine Jelly Cupboard crafted during the second quarter of the 19th Century. While a good quantity cabinets and cupboards of the period survive, this piece is characterized by the best of Pennsylvania craftsmanship. Featuring a single solid board of pine on the top, dovetailed along the edges with exposed joints to the sides of the case, the molding around the top is of unusually good quality. Tightly carved and pinned to the case at equal intervals, it projects over the overall square form embellished with multiple layers of molding and tight incised scratched-beading.
The triple-paneled door is a work of art, each panel deeply chamfered on the interior and set into rabbet cuts in the frame. The entire frame of the door features pegged through-tenon-mortise construction, allowing the wood to easily expand and contract while maintaining control over the structure; the door swings freely on original forged iron hinges. The lock is absent and a later bracket was installed on the door to assist in keeping the cabinet closed, the round wooden knob above the keyhole likely also an addition.
The sides of the case are solid planks of pine from top to bottom, the outermost backboards finished on the edges to become part of the case sides, also continuing down into full rear feet. The backboards run vertical to the case, each being tacked with neat even rows of large square forged iron nails. The interior of the case is a somewhat graduated shelved space, the full length solid planks creating outstanding depth to the cupboard.
This form of cupboard is incredibly utilitarian in any home of matching decor, easily utilized in any room: a display cabinet in the living room, a very easily accessibly chest of drawers in the bedroom, a linens and towel cabinet in the guest bedroom or dressing room and as a cupboard for the fine china in the dining room. Originally, this cupboard was a fully painted piece, probably of the teal blue color found in remnants of the piece: the backboards, some of the scratched-beading and molding. It is a gorgeous antique American cupboard that you will certainly cherish for a lifetime.
Materials: Yellow Pine and Poplar
Measurements: 35 1/2" wide x 21 7/8" deep x 55 3/4" high
Condition Report: Refinished. Two wooden pegs below the keyhole appear to be replaced. Original hinges with one replaced screw in the top hinge and three replaced screws in the bottom hinge. Scratches to the left side of the cupboard. Wooden knob on the front is period, but almost certainly added to the piece, the hole it is in appearing to be a later drilling - note the circular scar around the wooden knob. Lock absent from the inside. Brass clasp hardware is later added, probably after the lock was removed as a means to ensure the door remained closed. Triangular patch to the back of the top, though this appears to be original - probably where the board was significantly blemished or had a large knot; by inserting this triangle, the this perfectly good board could still be used since the piece would likely have been painted originally and this would be invisible beneath the paint. Two later holes drilled inside of the cabinet. Please review all images in the slideshow for a full overview of condition.