Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts


179.7 x 107.31 x 54.61 cm (70 3/4 x 42 1/4 x 21 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

American black walnut, burl walnut veneer, eastern white pine

On View

Burton A. Cleaves Gallery (Gallery LG27)




Case furniture and boxes

This chest, originally owned by the Warland family of Cambridge, Massachusetts, appears at first glance to be English-made, given its broad proportions, walnut veneers, fluted and canted front corners, recessed inlaid shell, and “slider” (a pull-out shelf in the mid-section used for folding textiles and clothing). However, further analysis indicated that the piece was made of native woods, including American black walnut and eastern white pine. In addition, microanalysis proved that the pollen trapped in the hardened mixture of fats and dust in the crevices comes from trees, plants, and grasses characteristic of coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


By 1770s, Thomas Warland (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1757-1837). Warland married Elizabeth Bell (1754-1838), then by descent through the family.
Gilbert T. Walker, Chatham, MA
March 29, 1986, sold at auction by Robert C. Eldred, Inc., purchased by Joe Lionetti of John Walton, Inc. Antiques (Jewett City, CT); 1986, purchased from Walton by the Museum purchase (Accession date: June 25, 1986)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by a friend of the Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Otis Norcross Fund