Boston Serpentine Chest

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Project by Stephen M. Skillins posted 01-21-2012 05:55 PM 1745 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made in 2011 by Stephen Skillins. Solid Honduras Mahogany. Secondary wood is Eastern White Pine. Each side is 1 piece of solid wood that was flattened by hand due to the width of each piece. Dovetailed case, Dovetailed drawers (all hand cut), Hand carved mouldings on top and base, cock beads that protrude slightly past all drawers, 4 locking drawers that taper in size from smallest to largest starting from top, solid brass hardware and locks, ogee bracket feet. Top, Drawers, and base all have a concentric serpentine curve. Top is attached to case with 2 sliding dovetails. Entire piece was made by hand and is a replica of a chest made circa: 1840 in Boston by a cabinet maker named Ebineezer Martin. The original is on display at the Jeramiah Lee historic mansion in Marblehead MA. Thankyou to Marblehead historical society for allowing me to trace parts and make a story stick making the 2 chests identical.

-- Steve Skillins, Danvers MA

12 comments so far

View LelandStone's profile


89 posts in 1602 days

#1 posted 01-21-2012 06:00 PM

Sorry, I was gonna type something complimentary, but my mouth is hanging agape and my fingers don’t seem to work right now. 0.0

Absolutely stunning.

-- Leland, OC Calif.,

View a1Jim's profile


113826 posts in 2666 days

#2 posted 01-21-2012 06:02 PM

Hi Steve
Welcome to Ljs
This chest is beautiful and displays a high amount of skill and workmanship,an outstanding piece.

-- Custom furniture

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2533 posts in 2681 days

#3 posted 01-21-2012 07:20 PM

Hi Stephen,

Very Nice! The Craftsmanship looks top notch!!!! Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- Dennis Zongker

View ChuckV's profile (online now)


2742 posts in 2616 days

#4 posted 01-21-2012 07:32 PM

Stephen -

Welcome to LJs. That is a beautiful piece.

Once I looked at this and the side table you have posted, I was pretty sure that you were related to NBSS. I have taken several workshops there, and recognize the style, craftsmanship and attention to detail in your work. Then I went to your web site and saw the Phil Lowe connection.

Also, your web site is very well done.

-- “And it's only the giving that makes you what you are. ” ― I. Anderson

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 3175 days

#5 posted 01-21-2012 07:34 PM

That is a master work. Welcome to LJs, Stephen!


View MarkR's profile


312 posts in 1717 days

#6 posted 01-22-2012 01:10 AM

Beautiful serpentine chest. I believe period furniture is some of the most difficult woodworking to master, and it looks like you’ve done it. Welcome to LJ.

-- Mark in Va

View DocK16's profile


1167 posts in 3176 days

#7 posted 01-22-2012 05:39 AM

WOW When you start at the top there’s nowhere to go for an encore. You must be ASPFM member

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2977 posts in 2802 days

#8 posted 01-22-2012 06:39 AM


Exquisite! Thanks for sharing and welcome to LJs.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Schwieb's profile


1705 posts in 2550 days

#9 posted 01-22-2012 01:14 PM

This is a beautiful and extremely well executed chest. I can’t help but wonder what Ebineezer Martin would have to say to you about your result. I’m betting he’d be pleased.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View lou's profile


340 posts in 2532 days

#10 posted 01-22-2012 04:30 PM

Welcome,Wonderfull and ,Wow.True talent

View RogerBean's profile


1513 posts in 2043 days

#11 posted 01-22-2012 09:15 PM

Lovely. Great piece.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 2730 days

#12 posted 03-01-2012 01:01 AM

It was great meeting you at the WoodExpo 2012 this past weekend in Boston. I’m sure your highlight was the sale of this piece in addition to the other things such as touring the MFA, and spending those 4 days with so many amazingly talented woodworkers exhibiting their pieces and the talented presenter line-up of: Chuck Bender, Allan Breed, Tom McLaughlin, and Glen Guarino to name a few. We’ll have to keep in touch, you are a talented craftsman!

-- Scott, Colorado

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