Blanket Chest

Date: 1835–75

Culture: American, Shaker

Medium: Pine

Dimensions: 29 1/8 x 38 3/4 x 19 in. (74 x 98.4 x 48.3 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Friends of the American Wing Fund, 1966

Accession Number: 66.10.15


This "heavenly blue" Shaker blanket chest has one deep drawer. The blanket chest was a familiar furniture form in colonial New England that the Shakers borrowed and adapted to their own taste. Close examination of the finish reveals a number of coats of paint, varying slightly in tint, providing rare evidence of original painted Shaker furniture. Very early Shaker furniture may have been given a heavy coat of paint to act as a wood preservative. Later furniture was embellished with thinned paint, in order for the natural grain of the wood to remain visible.