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A work made of red oak and eastern white pine.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of red oak and eastern white pine.




Artist unknown (American, 17th–18th century)
Eastern Massachusetts

About this artwork

The most common object in a colonial home, a small, lidded rectangular storage box would have held personal articles, such as household items, writing implements, or a Bible. They were decorated simply, usually only on the front, with stylized plants or vegetation and geometric lines. The Art Institute’s box is segmented by an upper band of intersecting lunettes with intervening foliate leaves and a lower border with repeating floral S-scrolls. The initials “M P,” carved in the center of the box, are presumably those of the original owner (although his or her identity is unknown).


On View, Gallery 165


Arts of the Americas


Artist unknown




Eastern Massachusetts (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. 1650–1700


Red oak and eastern white pine


Initials "MP" carved in center front


24.8 × 63.5 × 45.7 cm (9 3/4 × 25 × 18 in.)

Credit Line

Wirt D. Walker Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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