Quillwork sconce


Object Place: probably Boston, Massachusetts


Overall: 56.5 x 47.9 cm (22 1/4 x 18 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pine, gilded and colored paper, wax, shells, fabric, wire, glass

Not On View




Mixed media

Framed quill-work. Rectangular painted pine frame with shaped top. Horizontal gilded paper box with glazed print in center. Date over Emerson arms and crest above box, vase below. Wax fruits (much broken and loose) pendant at sides, dressed wax doll in one corner, two wax lambs in other. Mica flowers.

The shape, floral ornamentation, and coat of arms of this quillwork are similar to those of contemporary tombstones. The sconce originally was fitted with arms for candles that would have illuminated the elaborate picture within. The central tablet depicts Pan and a goat, with the arms of the Emerson family above.


Bears Emerson coat of arms and descended in the Emerson family; purchased in October 1958 from C.C. Emerson, 52 Bowdoin Street, Portland, Maine.

Credit Line

H. E. Bolles Fund