I’ve almost completed refinishing this old chest, and I’m curious to know from experts out there, just what era it might be from. I simply stripped it and coated all wood (pine) with shellac and 3 coats of General Finishes top coat. We bought it from a furniture restorer / antique dealer south of Lapeer, Michigan in 1976. I always assumed it was a carpenter’s chest, but I am now not so sure. It is clearly hand hewn, uses wood pin joinery, and what seem to be hand wrought square nails.
• Once I stripped it, I discovered it had originally been painted red; I assume it was milk paint.
• All nails – except a few used later in its life are square.
• The size is 35 wide, 18 ½ high, 18 deep; each panel is of 1 solid pine board and each board is full ¾ thick.
• There are 2 morticed hinges. Each is 3 screw and measure 2 ½ wide X 1” deep. All screws used are those with narrow slots used a century ago (I think).
• Lockset is simple morticed lock. Case is stamped (?) metal.
Rear board where hinges attach to top were damaged, so I replaced that section with maple and did not attempt to hide it. My attempts to identify its age lead me to believe it began life anywhere from the 18th century to possibly the early 20th century. I’m guessing maybe about American Civil War era.