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Painted Russian Wedding Chest, Ca. 1860-1890
We are offering an early painted chest that dates about 1860-1890 and comes from the Ustug region of northern Russia . It is quite large in size measuring 20 inches long, by 14 ½ inches deep, and 12 inches tall. This chest or trunk is frequently referred to as a Russian wedding chest. This one shows good honest age and carries the scars of a life well used. At one time there was quite a bit of iron strapping that was used to strengthen the box and reinforce it. Much of the strapping is still present on the top, but most of it is gone from the front, sides, and back. The lost strapping has not weakened the integrity of the box in any way. Apparently the strapping was added after the decorative painting had been done. As a result, the strapping had a preservation effect and the loss of the strapping has allowed more of the beautiful folk painted design to show that is covering all surfaces except the bottom. The corners of the box are constructed with wooden-pegged butt joints, a good utilitarian joint that was both sturdy and easy to make. The corners are reinforced with strapping that goes around the edges. Some of the wooden pegs have fallen out and been replaced with nails of a variety of ages. The trunk had a lock and escutcheon plate. The lock is gone but the escutcheon survives. One of the boards in the bottom is a replacement for a missing board. Judging by the looks of the replacement board, the repair is quite old. The condition of this item is consistent with its age and use.
The box is covered with wonderful stylized Russian folk art painting. It is very reminiscent of the painting used in Norway that is referred to as rosemaling. Much of it is still bright and crisp. (As expected, the painting on the top is muted due to dirt and grime settling there over the ages.) The artist used the surface of this box as a canvas to show his skills. As mentioned before, at one time iron banding covered much of the paint. With the banding gone, the painting is revealed and is in surprisingly good shape. Most likely this is due to being protected over the years. If you are a purist who loves antiques to be honest and show their wear and age, then you will love this piece. If you are a collector of painted folk art, then you do not want to miss the opportunity to pick up a very scarce, hard to obtain item.
You can buy with confidence from Sweetpea Cottage. We stand behind everything that we sell. If you wish to return your purchase for any reason, simply notify us by email of your intentions within 3 days of receiving the item. We then ask that you return it to us in its original condition in a timely fashion. At that time we will refund the full purchase price minus any shipping charges. This is a very large and heavy item. We will not be able to ship this item to our international customers. If the cost of shipping this item is less than what we charge you, then we will refund the excess.
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Ken and Joan Drews
Be sure to check out our newly added Norwegian antiques and other smalls.
We always welcome and consider reasonable offers for anything in our shop!