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


Small, rectangular oak boxes with hinged lids were common in seventeenth-century households, where they held important items such as documents, writing implements, books, jewelry, and currency. Like chests with carved decoration, boxes displayed a vocabulary of stylized plant forms and simple geometric shapes. Foliated S-scrolls, as single elements or paired—as on the front of this box and the sides of the cabinet to its right—were widely used.