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Blanket chest

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Blanket chest

Jonestown, Pennsylvania


John Seltzer (1774-1845)

26-5/8 in x 51-5/8 in x 22-1/4 in White pine

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp


“John / Seltzer / 1808” is scratched into the black urn on the right panel.  If the left panel bears an inscription, it is illegible.

The left front foot is a replacement.  The drawer brasses are replacements, and the drawer fronts have filled and in-painted holes for centered drawer pulls.  The outer paint layers are worn, and the front edge of the lid is worn to the wood.

Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp

The lidded chest, called a blanket chest to separate its form from common chests of drawers, has three side-by-side drawers below an applied mid-rib and above straight bracket feet.  Of the three drawers, only the center drawer has a lock.  Scarring on the drawer fronts shows that they once had single pulls. The lid attaches to the backboard with wrought iron hinges and locks in front by a Germanic grab lock.  The chest has a lidded till inside on the left side. Wedged dovetails tie the case sideboards and the original bracket foot in the right front together.  The rear feet are not dovetailed; the replacement foot on the left front is mitered.  The bottom board and lid moldings are held in place with wooden pegs. The chest is grain-painted and has three painted panels in front and two on the top of the lid.  Many similarly constructed and painted chests are known by John Seltzer as well as his father, Christian (1749-1831), and other members of the Seltzer and Johannes Ranck (1763-1828) families, all of Jonestown.