An Iconic masterpiece, Paint-decorated lift-top chest, Centre County, Pennsylvania, circa 1810-1820


Poplar, original painted decoration, original brass escutcheon, in a superb state of preservation, 25 ½ x 49 ¾ x 20 ¾ inches

This is an iconic masterpiece of American painted furniture and the keystone among a rare small group of lift-top chests of common authorship having delicate floral, heart and pinwheel decoration on a red background and having black painted French bracket feet. The related examples are illustrated in Richard Miller, Avis Berman, Cynthia G. Falk, Lisa Minardi, and Ralph Sessions, A Shared Legacy, Folk Art in America (Alexandria, VA and NY, 2014), no. 60, pp. 228-229, and Dean A. Fales, Jr., The Furniture of Historic Deerfield (New York, 1976), p. 200, no. 411, as “probably Connecticut.” Recent scholarship has established their origin in Centre County, Pennsylvania, and possibly in the vicinity of Forks (now Coburn).


Collection of Howard and Jean Lipman, Cannondale, CT;

“The Howard and Jean Lipman Collection of Important American Folk Art & Painted Furniture,” November 14, 1981, lot 388;

Private collection, Pennsylvania; “Important Americana,” Sotheby’s, New York, January 26, 1989, lot 1248; Collection of Peter and Barbara Goodman, Rye, NY;

“The Collection of Peter and Barbara Goodman,” Christies, New York, January 20, 2022, lot 195;


“The Flowering of American Folk Art, 1776-1876,” The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, February 1-March 24, 1974, traveled to The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, April 22-June 2, 1974; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA, June 24-September 15, 1974.


“Living with Antiques, The Cannondale, Connecticut Home of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Lipman,” The Magazine Antiques, June 1957, p. 543.

Jean Lipman and Alice Winchester, The Flowering of American Folk Art, 1776-1876 (New York, 1974), p. 243, fig. 333.

Monroe H. Fabian, The Pennsylvania-German Decorated Chest (New York, 1978), p. 180, no. 189.


Peter Goodman notebook, no 893.

This item has been sold. If you are interested in selling or purchasing a similar item, please fill out the form below, and we will get back to you soon.