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Historic Pantry Box of Ira Draper c1820, Dedham Massachusetts

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    An exciting find!  This early 1800s pantry box has a fixed, shaped wooden handle, a lapped metal band encircling the lid and a surface that was originally Federal blue, then there are traces of red paint having been applied, then decoupage and then shellac.  We've never had a decoupaged pantry box before.  But the one thing that led me to learn more about the box is the fact that the top of the lid is signed Ira Draper in dull gold paint. 

    After reading the background, I believe the reason for all the surface work was Family.  Mr. Draper wrote in his will that this pantry box was to stay within the Draper family, and it was to be passed down only through the chain of women.  It is likely that at some point, the women felt that decorating the box was the thing to do.  To me, this is an endearment, although I realize to others, it may have been detrimental to the value of the box.  There are two small pages of provenance that came inside the box.  These are included.  

    I can find no flaws or repairs in this box.  The box is good and strong and handsome as all get out.  The carved handle is particularly nice.  And those layers of work to the surface ~ paint, decoupage, shellac ~ all make for interesting study.  Measurements are 10 1/2"W diameter, 51/2"H to box body; 11"H to top of handle.  Questions?  Please email anytime.

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