Early to mid 19th century paint decorated Seaman's chest; American; probably from New England. An exceptional chest constructed of white pine with superb dovetailed joints and canted front and back. Two-board top with applied end cleats for structural strength and to reduce warping. The interior lid features a painting of a three masted barque under sail and entering a harbor with smaller sailing and steam powered vessels fore and aft. A lighthouse stands guard at the point of a peninsula with a rocky shore in background. This colorful nautical scene is enclosed in a half circle and centered in a blue-grey ground with red borders that conforms to the shape of the lid. The lid is attached to the rear panel with its original forged iron strap hinges. The top edge of the panels is detailed with scratch beading. A ditty box (til) is fastened in the upper left of the interior. The front panel has the rare addition of a solid brass heart-shaped escutcheon plate.
One of the finest features of this exceptional sea chest is the carved and polychrome cleats; featuring a series of hand-carved diamonds decorated in shades of green; yellow and small traces of red. A finely woven macrame becket painted to match survives on the left panel. The chest is complete with its original carved base molding; retaining its original dark green surface. Remnants of the original now crusted black paint are still visible throughout the panels and lid. The original lock remains but the chest is missing its original keep.
Depth: 18 ½ in. Width: 39 3/4 in. Height: 17 1/4 in.