Large Antique Frisian Chip Carved Box with Original Lock and Key
* Antique Item
This large hinged-lid box features superbly intricate chip-carved designs on all its surfaces including the sides and back. Made by an experienced Frisian craftsman with small, precise cuts, the elaborate geometric designs are reminiscent of Pennsylvania Dutch quilt patterns. There are rosettes, circles, stars, pinwheels and stippling, to name the predominant ones. There are also tiny cross shapes, so perfect it's difficult to imagine the patience this type of carving must require. The box is covered with designs; the only areas of wood that are not decorated are the strips along the edges and the feet.
The box is lined with the original velvety purple fabric (purple was one of the most popular colors in the Victorian era). Amazingly, not only is the original lock intact but the key is present, also. Measuring 18 inches long, it stands 10 1/4 inches tall on 4 notched feet and the depth is 7 inches front to back. Given its size, it could be called a chest or small trunk. The hinges are brass, as is the lid support. The piece weighs a sturdy 6 pounds, 6 ounces and is in superb condition, with no cracks except on the underside of the bottom board (pictured). The wood is a rich, warm reddish-brown, unfaded and with little wear and no missing or damaged carvings.
It's difficult to decide whether this is American or from the coastal regions of German or The Netherlands, as this style of chip-carving was practiced in all three countries. However, we believe it is European, made in the late 1800's. Due to the quality of the carving and its large size, this is a very impressive box.
>>> An excellent reference: "Antiques and Auctions News" online article, 9/15/2016 : 'A Chip Off The Ol' (Frisian) Block' by Andrew Richmond
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