Friday, February 11, 2011

Furnishing Friday: Cedar Chest

Item: Cedar Chest

Who Purchased: Grandmother B.

Year Purchased/Received: Mur bought it in 1942 before her wedding to my Grandfather B. in October of that year.

Location Purchased/Received: Home Furniture Company on Allen Street, Owensboro

Description: Cherry veneer cedar chest. On the front, the top is rounded over, and it has detailing across the ends and around the front. The chest is 42.5 inches long, 19 inches tall, and 17.5 inches deep.

Markings: There is a stamp next to one of the corners on the inside that notes that a patent has been applied for the way the corners have been put together. There is also what looks like a stencil on the back that tells the lot number and size of the tray inside. I couldn’t find anything that told who the manufacturer is, though.

How it came to the MP: Mur bought this piece because she didn’t have a lot of closet/drawer space when she was first married and needed something for storage. Later, she used it to store baby clothes and other things. When she moved onto Griffith Place in 1974 (i.e., her Empty Nest phase), she put it in the guest room. She kept the plants that she received when my Grandfather died on the top, which led to quite a bit of water damage across the top. She used it in her final home in Owensboro in a closet to store blankets. When Mur moved to Texas, the Cedar Chest moved to my parents’ house, and then it came to the MP when we moved her living room furniture from Texas. I use it as a coffee table and keep a throw of some sort over the top (or all of it, as you’ve seen in past photos taken during the holidays!).

The interesting thing, I think, about the Cedar Chest is how it obviously means so little to my grandmother and so much to my mom. To Mur, the piece seems to have served it’s utilitarian mission without affection (held blankets, held baby clothes, held plants, held more blankets—it is only a vessel that held items she treasured), but for mom, the chest is the important part. Mur really doesn’t seem to understand mom’s concern for the water damage, etc. I’m beginning to think my mom must have gotten her affection for antiques from her father…

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