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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Date Made:1650-1700
Materials:wood: white oak; base metal: iron
Place Made:United Kingdom; England
Measurements:overall: 8 1/16 x 24 7/16 x 13 7/8 in.
Accession Number:  HD 81.093

Large white oak box that, according to family tradition, is an heirloom in the Wells family - the family of Mrs Jennison from whom it was purchased. The box may have been owned in the line of Hugh (d. ca. 1645) of Essex, England, who probably came over on the "Globe" in 1635 and was in Harford, Connecticut, by 1636 and later to Wethersfield; Hugh's son, Thomas (1620-1676, born in England) married Mary Beardsley of Hartford in 1651 and moved to Hadley in 1659; Thomas' son, Ebenezer (b.1669) married his first wife, Sarah Smith of Hatfield in 1690; their son Joshua (1695-1798) married Elizabeth Smead in 1720 and they lived in the Green River district; Joshua's son, Elisha (1731-1792) married his first wife, Abigail Brooks in 1754; and their son, Moses (b.1771), a blacksmith, settled in Buckland, Massachusetts. The box came to Mrs. Jemmison with several books inscribed with the name of Sally Olcott Wells, the daughter of Moses. Collateral families in this line include Waite, Smead, Brooks, Catlin, Burt, Willims, Allis, Allen, and Severance of the Deerfield area; the seller is also related to the Dwight, Hawley, Strong, Parsons, Frary, Clapp, Bliss, Coleman, Porter and Wright families of the Connecticut River Valley. The box is made of six thin boards, butted and nailed, and is decorated with two large lunettes with crude foliate detail carved deeply in the facade, which terminates in chipped carving. The lock area is broken (the lock is gone) and patched by a small beveled oak board nailed to the facade of the box; the staple for the lock is broken, but is sill attached to the lid. The box originally had cotter pin hinges; strap hinges were placed on the box in the early-eighteenth century. Both the rear edges of the top and bottom have been pieced. The lid has split and has been reglued; the right hand cleat is replaced.

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