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A work made of white pine, iron, brass, and paint.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of white pine, iron, brass, and paint.


c. 1725


Attributed to Robert Crosman
American, 1707–1799
Taunton, Massachusetts

About this artwork

This chest belongs to a group of furniture attributed to drum maker and joiner Robert Crosman, who likely learned the furniture-making trade from family members. The piece’s simple plank construction is characteristic of Crosman’s work. Although the flat top is undecorated, a white tree with ocher leaves and red flowering buds, and four birds surround the initials “H B” on the central panel. Early painted chests were likely made for young women as dowry vessels. The inclusion of women’s initials on chests, as well as the use of a decorative vocabulary that bespeaks fertility and prosperity, supports this long-standing view. The initials on known Crosman chests are thought to be those of his sitters and other women in his family; the initials on this chest could be those of Hannah Blake, a relative of Crosman’s second wife.


On View, Gallery 165


Arts of the Americas


Robert Crosman




Taunton (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1725


White pine, iron, brass, and paint


Roman capital initials in white on either side of original iron lock plate: "H B"


52.8 × 57.2 × 32.6 cm (20 3/4 × 22 1/2 × 12 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Wirt D. Walker Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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