Maker: Attributed to John Thurston (1607–1685)

Date: 1660–85

Geography: Possibly made in Medfield, Massachusetts, United States; Possibly made in Dedham, Massachusetts, United States

Culture: American

Medium: White oak, red oak, yellow pine

Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 26 5/8 x 15 1/2 in. (24.1 x 67.6 x 39.4 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1909

Accession Number: 10.125.680


The most common small storage unit in the seventeenth century was the rectangular box with a hinged lid. Usually made of oak and ornamented with carving, boxes offered safe-keeping for a variety of objects, such as books, documents, writing utensils, jewelry, and small items of apparel. The front of this example is richly carved with paired foliated S-scrolls and leafage. The initials of the unidentified first owner, "MH," are carved in the center.