Condition: As survived…displays beautifully; original surface history, trivial imperfections, call to discuss the vestiges of time and storied history.
Additional Information: The arched and molded opening centering a molded panel
with three shaped shelves and a shelf within base, above a hinged door featuring
two fielded panels. The interior retaining original red paint in dry patina, else
in very early robin’s egg blue paint.
One day, sometime around 1750, a carpenter laid down his tools, the corner cupboard
was finished. The cupboard was especially pretty. Its proportions, arched opening,
detailed molding, and the raised paneled doors – producing an elegance not usually
found in others of the period. It was painted blue/green. Those who studied the
cupboard feel that it was built into the dining room of a house in southeastern
Like many things made by human hands, the cupboard eventually fell from fashion.
If you were a merchant living a good life in the 1830s, you preferred heavy and
important Empire furniture. Not many early painted cupboards survived the changing
styles of the nineteenth century. The blue-green cupboard might have easily been
wrecked, but it never was. Perhaps it survived because of its beauty.
The cupboard did not arrive at the twentieth century in pristine condition. The
corners had worn smooth from the touch of many hands. A hole (which someone had
covered with tin) had appeared at the lower edge of its door, the result, apparently,
of a determined animal. The moldings around its arched opening had once sprung loose,
and whoever tacked them back failed to make the lines clean again; the piece had an
unsettling look to some, however, to others it exudes soul…great character.
One day in the mid-1960’ s, Dick Wiggins and his son David discovered the cupboard in
the kitchen of an old New Hampshire antiques dealer. The woman had probably rescued
it during the 1920s, when Americans began to appreciate objects from their Colonial
past. Though she had owned it for decades, the dealer was willing to part with the
cupboard when she was offered what was a considerable sum then: about $500. It was
an odd piece of furniture, worn and filled with mystery that suited the Wiggins’s’
taste. Dick and David thought they might keep the cupboard for themselves because it
had looked so good in the old dealer’s kitchen…obviously they eventually
sold the cupboard.
Starting with Dick and David Wiggins, the cupboard began a four-decade journey passing
through the hands of various antiques dealers who are now part of the cupboard’s
legacy. Bob and Dick Wiggins, Bill Putnam, Nan and David Gurley, Cory Daniels,
Michael Winslow, Bill Mertsch, Hollis Brodrick, Susan and Emery Fletcher, Stephen
Score, Rob Stuart…then to private collections.
We invite you to contact David for an enthusiastic conversation on this wonderful cupboard
For additional information please email or call David Hillier
18th Century Hooded Cupboard, Mohawk Valley, New York, Original Salmon-Red Paint
Outstanding Form & Surface, Small Size, Spectacular, Salmon-Red Painted Surface Date/Period: Circa 1790
Condition: See report within “additional information” section below.
Additional Information: Step-back dresser with lollipop returns flanking shelf. A
projecting cornice molding surmounts chip-carved dental detailed facia centered by
cyma reversa [ogee] ends creating a most unusual hooded open compartment/shelf.
Upper and lower sections each feature a pair of recessed panel doors flanking
stationary center panels…all within horizontal and vertical applied moldings. The upper
and lower upper and lower sections each contain a single fullwidth shelf. The case is
raised on high cutout feet, a continuum of stiles; demilune side cutouts.
The back and side planks once extended a short distance above the top,
probably ensuring that objects were securely stored on the top of the
cupboard. These extensions were removed during the cupboards early life
facilitating a level top. The cupboard stands at original full height. The front has
not been altered in any way as evidenced by the projecting cornice molding
Tool witness marks caused by the saw used in the process are evident on the
top board as is the original surface; original nail holes are present [from securing
the backboards to the top] further supporting the fact that the cupboard remains
at full height.
There is evidence of a dovetailed molding (probably a spoon rack), within the
top section, which was removed, possibly because it interfered with standing
plates, and other storage. As is often found additional nails have been added to
backboards. It appears that one of the applied moldings on the base was long
ago replaced. Right proper vertical molding on lower case appears to be an old
replacement. All else fine.
This is one of the most outstanding early American cupboards of its type to present
itself on the market, comparable or superior to extant in American institutions. Picked
from a home in the Mohawk region decades ago.
Additional Information: Reeded crown molding above case featuring mortise and
tenon joined raised panel door flanked by applied fluted stiles…slightly projecting
bottom molding. The interior contains three shelves; interior/exterior surfaces are
outstanding as is patina.
Cupboard, Original Blue Paint, Raised Panel Doors, Massachusetts
Mitered case Date/Period: Circa 1750
Condition: Very good, expertly cleaned to strong traces of soft blue paint, wonderful
Additional Information: Robust cornice molding over a pair of raised panel doors hung
on original undisturbed hinges…the whole raised on cutout feet. The interior, featuring
five shelves with plate grooves was never painted and displays a wonderful surface.
Hanging Wall Cupboard in Original Red Paint, New England, Great Size Date/Period: Early 19th Century
Condition: Excellent original condition, missing interior lock, else fine
Additional Information: The case featuring applied top and bottom moldings and a
single battened door displays a desirable red painted surface in dry patina. The interior
is fitted with a pair of side-by-side short drawers beneath a single shelf.
Early Small Tabletop Cupboard with Drawer, Original Paint History, Blue
Probably New England Date/Period: Circa 1800
Material: Pine, early blue over robins’ egg blue…over salmon red paint, great surface
Condition: Very good, small losses to upper corners of drawer
Additional Information: Intended for table or desktop use, interior of drawer displays
ink stains. This little Federal period cupboard features a carved 9-panel door opening to
an interior retaining original robins’ egg blue and salmon paint. The fitted interior
features a single shelf…the front edge ornamented with a demilune [porringer] flanked
by scalloping. Interestingly the back of drawer face is bowed; simple lap construction
joined with rosehead nails. Original brass hardware.
18th Century Corner Cupboard, 24 Lights, Blue Painted Interior
Found years ago, in the Mohawk Valley of New York Date/Period: Circa 1785
Condition: Very Good, our restorer repair back-corner foot
Additional Information: Molded cornice over molded case having a pair of glazed
doors retaining original glass; blue painted interior features three scalloped selves…all
over a pair of recessed panel doors. Very good color and patina. Although of generous
proportion the glazed doors display great verticality offering a well-proportioned
Small Paint Decorated Country Cupboard with Drawer Date/Period: 19thCentury
Additional Information: A rectangular cupboard for tabletop or floor use. Single raised
panel door above drawer. The interior with three shelves is papered with a Civil War era
newspaper. Fine faux graining, black against red, nice dry patina. Ex Yankee Smuggler
[Ted and Carole Hayward] collection; 1982…then to private Long Island collection.
Step Back Cupboard, Raised Panel Doors, Soft Greenish Gray Paint
New England Date/Period: Early 19th Century - SOLD
Condition: Good, commensurate with age and use, thinning paint; door in base
[bottom] was cracked and is now glued…overall- displays well.
Additional Information: A simple rural form in best original salmon-painted
surface…flat molded projecting top above the engaged-cockbeaded case featuring two
long narrow overhanging-thumbmolded doors. Front door opens to reveal original shelf
less-cavity fitted with nails to hang brooms or possible accommodate longarm. The side
door opens to neatly compartmentalized case containing eight shelves. The whole on
molded base having a square door…raised on elliptical cutout base.
Small Antique Hanging Cupboard, Original Paint Date/Period: 19th CenturySOLD
Additional Information: It appears that this little gem is/was an architectural piece. The
scallop topped door remains hung on original butt hinges. Proper right size was meant
to be exposed based on paint, left side is natural and would have butted against another
unit or wall.
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