A rare paint decorated New England pine apothecary chest and cupboard featuring unique stepped shelves comparable to "china steps" within the open top section above the twenty-four-drawer mid-section, above a cupboard door that opens to reveal storage space and doubles as a writing/work surface. The cupboard is raised on cutout bracket feet. The decorator applied black paint in broad brush strokes over red painted ground. The cupboard remains in remarkable original condition having trivial age/use imperfections; a crack to proper left rear foot has been expertly restored and is undetectable; the solid brass pulls are of the highest quality and conform to the only impressed witness shadows however, all threaded screws are replaced, therefore, let's assume that these are the second set of basses. All drawers remain in fine original condition; one drawer was used to store a caustic substance... the interior of the drawer was damaged by the content yet remains functional and is un-restored. (Note: blocks seen behind feet are "travel blocks" to protect feet and should/will be removed at time of delivery/installation)
Date: 19th Century
Measurement: Height: 77" writing height: 30" width: 55" depth: 17.5"
Provenance: The period addition of the owner's Name and Residence to the backboards was often common practice on early furniture, and in this case offers a compelling provenance of historical significance to the Vermont medical and historical community.
By simple observation and deduction, this exemplary Vermont Country Medical Cupboard clearly shows A. R Edson of Chester, Vermont as the cupboard's owner when the name and town were scripted on the back. A. R Edson is listed in the History of Windsor County (1) as practicing medicine in Chester, Vermont from the 1840s and well through the 1860s. Prior to that, Ptolemy Edson practiced medicine in Chester from 1824 on, and then in 1861, a young 27 year old Ptolemy O'Meara Edson practiced medicine for the Union Cause in the Civil War. It is easy to follow the clues through the Edson family; Ptolemy Edson to A.R Edson to Ptolemy O'Meara Edson and on. Please see the following references for further information:
(1) History of Windsor County, Vermont edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Frank R. Holmes; Syracuse NY, Published by D Mason, and Co. 1891; page 686 for Ptolemy Edson and A.R Edson and others. (Available on Google in PDF) It is also worth viewing pages 146 and 147 for Ptolemy O'Meara Edson's role in the Civil War.
See: Vermont in the Civil War; Home Page > Cemetery Database> Virtual Cemeteries; Ptolemy O'Meara Edson