Taunton Chest

The original

I've been busy with the construction of a copy of a particularly nice little chest made by Robert Crossman in 1727 (it is signed and dated!). The original is currently a dark red-brown with extremely intricate vine and bird painting.   The original sold at a Christies auction for $3 million.  Not bad for a pine piece that is only 22 inches square.... I'll take 1/100th of that for mine!

My version is currently a custom-mixed dark brown / red milk paint.  The case is made entirely of white pine, per the original.  The drawer fronts and feet are also white pine.

The cornice and waist moldings were made with dedicated molding planes, but the moldings around the drawers were done with a #6 hollow plane. Lots of fun!

A lumpy, not perfectly round foot. In other words, perfection.
Turning pine on a spring pole lathe is a challenge, but I made it work thanks to a burnishing tip you will see in the Tricks of the Trade section of Popular Woodworking Magazine.

I turned all four feet from one 13" long cylinder of white pine, then cut them apart. This ensured that the feet at least have a passing similarity with each other. This is exactly what I wanted, as imperfect turnings are par for the course on W&M pieces.

I've started to distress the finish (read scratch through the paint in certain areas and round over the sharp corners) but the detailed painting will wait until after I get back from the Lie-Nielsen Toolworks show.  Over the whole thing will go a couple of coats of dark shellac to grunge it up, as per my normal modus operandi.. Once that is done I will have another update!

1 comment:

  1. Nice job. I bet it would look good in walnut to match your William & Mary spice chest.