New England, likely Maine, ca. 1820-1840. Original polychrome paint; pine top and bottom; maple side band. The fanciful paint decoration is exceedingly rare, with only one other example known. Paint is dry and untouched, and may have been protected by a very thin original over-varnish that has oxidized to a soft yellow. Paint is in excellent condition, with minor chipping. Box is structurally excellent with no cracks. Dimensions are about 5 1/2 inches long x 4 1/4 wide x 2 1/8 tall. A highlight piece for an early paint and folk art collection. See American Fancy, Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840, page108, fig 179, for a related paint decorated box.
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