Rare Painted Joined Carved and Paneled Chest-over-drawers, South Scituate, Massachusetts area, carved "MF 1696," the red oak, white pine, cedar and maple chest includes a thumb-molded and cleated top, with serrated carving below, which opens to a till having a lid decorated with punchwork and carved "MF 1696"; the three paneled facade includes applied moldings, balusters, and bosses above the two paneled drawers, which are outlined by smaller balusters and stiles continuing to form the feet; the paneled sides join its four paneled backboard, the black and red paint shows some enhancement, the wooden pulls appear original (replacements include cleats, hinges, and some moldings), ht. 34 1/2, wd. 54 1/2, dp. 21 1/4 in.
Provenance: the consignor's ancestor purchased this piece in the early 20th century on the South Shore of Massachusetts.
Literature: The Wrought Covenant: Material in Southeastern New England, 1620-1700 by Robert St. George, Brockton Art Center 1979, figs. 20 and 21 picture two very similar examples also from Scituate: one in the collection of the Pilgrim Hall Museum, descended in the Turner and Standish families, another in the Wadsworth Atheneum's Wallce Nutting Collection and two others in the collections of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.