Painted and decorated yellow pine blanket chest

attributed to johannes spitler (1774-1837), massanutten, page county, va, ci

The rectangular hinged top opens to a well with till, the case painted Prussian blue and decorated with hearts, flowers, birds and circular devices in white, red and black, the molded base painted in blocks of color, bracket feet.

H: 24 in. W: 50 in. D: 21 1/2 in.


Descended in the Latham family of Rappahannock County, Virginia to the present owners. According to family history, the chest was owned by Armistead Clifford Latham (1881- ) who married Mary Anderson in June of 1917. Latham's parents, Thomas Richard Latham (1847-1895) and Mary Ellen Corbin (b. 1850) were married in Culpeper, Virginia in 1880.

Mary Ellen Corbin's parents, Armistead Corbin (1785-1856) and Juliett Ann Luttrell (1810-1856) of Culpeper, Virginia, were married in 1850. Armistead Corbin married his first wife Sally Ann Bywaters (1782-1842) in 1807.
Estimate $80,000-120,000

Literature: For related examples and information on Spitler, see: Ronald L. Hurst and Jonathon Prown, Southern Furniture 1680-1830, The Colonial Williamsburg Collection (1997) ill. 107.3 p. 340, pp 337-343, Walters, Donald, "Johannes Spitler, Shenendoah County, Virginia, furniture decorator," The Magazine Antiques, Oct. 1975, pp. 730-735.

The known furniture decorated by Johannes Spitler dates from the 1790's to about 1810, when he relocated with his family from Virginia to Ohio. During these approximately 20 years, Spitler worked in three distinct styles of decoration. This chest falls into Spitler's second style due to its nature motifs: birds, tulips, hearts and compass-drawn flower heads.

original painted surface, scattered areas of paint wear and loss to facade, paint loss to lid, edges of case, molding and feet, original hinges, loss to base of right side foot

Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to request a condition report on any lots upon which they intend to bid, prior to placing a bid. All transactions are governed by Freeman's Conditions of Sale.

Sold for $350,500 (buyer's premium included)