Chest over DrawersMade in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
or Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Attributed to John Bieber, American, 1768 - 1825. Made for Magdalena Leabelsperger, American, 1772 - 1844.
Yellow poplar, pine, painted and inlay decoration; brass, iron
1982-68-1Purchased with the Thomas Skelton Harrison Fund, the Fiske Kimball Fund, and the Joseph E. Temple Fund, 1982
LabelDuring the eighteenth century, huge numbers of immigrants from German-speaking Europe settled in rural counties of Pennsylvania. At a geographic and cultural remove from the English-influenced styles of Philadelphia, these settlers preferred artistic traditions from their homeland, including the decorative painting seen on this chest. One of the most elaborately ornamented examples known, the chest features hearts and stars laid out with a compass, freehand-drawn flowers, and sponged backgrounds. The construction of this chest is unusually skilled; it was probably made by the joiner John Bieber of Salisbury and Oley Townships for the twenty-year-old Magdalena Leabelsperger of Berks County in anticipation of her marriage.
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