Shaker Pine Schoolhouse Cupboard and Case of Drawers, Mount Lebanon, New York, c. 1840, the flat cove-molded cornice above a panel with two pegs over a double-hinged door with four recessed molded panels that can be partially or fully opened to an interior of six shelves and four compartments, with four graduated, thumbmolded drawers below, original orange-brown pigmented washed surface, ht. 95, wd. 30, dp. 15 3/4 in.
Provenance: Sister Sadie Neale.
Literature: Religion in Wood, p. 89; Shaker: Furniture and Objects, p. 52, plate 5; The Magazine Antiques, May 1979; The Book of Shaker Furniture, p. 50; Gather Up the Fragments, pp. 152-3.
Exhibitions: Renwick, 1973.
Considered by Faith Andrews to be "one of the choicest pieces in the collection" (The Magazine Antiques, May 1979). Sister Sadie Neale sold this tall cupboard over drawers to the Andrewses. It was probably built for the New Lebanon schoolhouse that was constructed in 1839 on the site of the old hatter's shop. The building was framed by Isaac Newton Youngs, who oversaw every aspect of its design, even down to the form of the desks for the teacher and students. The building still stands today, and a stereoview of c. 1875 shows this piece was being used inside. The bi-fold door is hinged in the middle and can be opened partially or fully. A series of shelves, dividers, and graduated doors facilitated the storage of schoolbooks and supplies. Maps and educational charts were hung from the pegs on the upper case-front. The exterior is pine, with an unknown hardwood secondary. It is finished in an orange-brown pigmented wash. Many of the design details of this piece are similar to those of the well-known double Trustees' desk featured in Shaker Furniture, plate 36. Of the present lot, Shaker scholar John Kassay writes, "The arrangement of the graduated drawers and paneled doors on this exceptionally tall cupboard-chest is harmoniously elegant."
The piece is in good condition, with a good early surface inside and out. There are a total of four pegs on the case sides, and at least one is a non-Shaker made replacement. There is evidence of wear and minor loss to the lower front edges, and evidence of an old (now-gone) latch mechanism for the door.
The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.