A Miniature Smoke-Decorated Blanket/Dower Chest. Pennsylvania, 19th Century


Poplar and pine, with original painted yellow and black smoke decoration, original brass knobs, escutcheon and turned button feet. 8 ¾ x 11 x 6 inches

With hinged top opening to recessed interior, over two short drawers, all raised on turned button feet and with yellow- and black-painted smoke decoration throughout.

Small chests of this form survive in relatively large numbers but few retain the distinctive smoke graining of this delightful example.

Smoke decorating or graining is one of many techniques employed to decorate furniture and other objects. The technique of smoke-graining is created by drawing a candle over a painted ground covered in size. When the size is almost dry, soot from the lighted candle will adhere to it. A varnish is applied when the pattern is complete and thoroughly dried.

Collection of William DuPont, Wilmington, Delaware



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