Thistlethwaite Americana | Paint Decorated Chest of Drawers
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Vermont Chest 1
Vermont Chest 2Vermont chest 3Vermont Chest 4

Paint Decorated Chest of Drawers

Probably South Shaftsbury, Vermont
In the style of Thomas Matteson family
Painted White Pine
Circa 1820
H: 37”; W: 39.5”; D: 17”


Outstanding original feather painted decoration with an unusual design on the top. The distinctive decoration is associated with a group made around South Shaftsbury ascribed to the Thomas Matteson family based on signed examples by Thomas and other Matteson family members. The Matteson chests have a distinctive style of imaginative graining and similar construction techniques. The decoration is inspired by highly figured woods popular in the Federal period. Grained in mustard, green, red and brown grounds and highlighted with decorative details including hand-painted stringing and cross-banding, suggestions of inlaid oval panels on aprons and faux inlays on the tops and sides.  These chests represent some of the most desirable New England paint-decorated furniture.


Condition: A 1” x 2” patch was made on the proper left side of the second drawer. Old, but not original  rear feet blocking replaced. Repairs made to the toes of the front feet. Brasses on the bottom drawer replaced.


The surface was lightly cleaned by Peter Deen of Nottingham, PA.



Bennington Museum, Acquisition Number 1983.242,


Cynthia van Allen Schaffner, “Matteson Group Chests,” Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (New York: 2004): pp. 307-308.


Krashes, David. (1998) “The South Shaftsbury, Vermont, Painted Wooden Chests”, Rural New England Furniture: People, Place, and Production. The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings, 26-28 June 1998, editor Peter Benes, Boston University, pp. 226-235.


Caroline Hebb,  “A Distinctive Group of Early Vermont Painted Furniture,” in The Magazine Antiques (September 1973): 458-461.