Carved and Paint-decorated Round Ditty Box, Probably coastal New England, Circa 1820


White pine and ash, with original polychrome painted decoration. Height 3 ½ inches, Diameter 8 inches

The lid of the box centered by a six-point carved pinwheel within a circular reserve with chip-carved border in a stained finish, surrounded by a white-painted band enclosing four small circular reserves, two carved with incised fylots and two carved with six point stars of David, one with a chip-carved border. The banding and sides of the box incised with alternating zigzag pattern picked out in shades of red, white and blue, the whole with a mellow patina. While folk art ditty boxes in the scrimshaw tradition fashioned from whalebone and balloon are well-known, examples in carved and painted wood are less frequently encountered.

Clark Garrett collection, Fairhaven, OH

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