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Dimensions (inches): 51" t x 39.25" w x 17" d
Of all the pie safes that I have owned in thirty years of buying paint-decorated furniture, this is my personal favorite. I had the great privilege to have owned and sold it sixteen years ago to a dear friend and client, Larry Dumont, a passionate collector with exquisite taste in art, antiques, and design.

Made sometime between 1830 and 1850, this is an early safe with an atypical form with an architectural sensibility. The latter of these traits is largely derived from its repeating lantern-style tins that almost have the feel of windows or doorways. At the top of each “lantern” adornment is what appears to be a drooping bow, which lends a bit of flare to the otherwise geometric structure. The form is simplistic, without drawers, which is fairly unusual for an example of this scale. The legs are tapered in a country Hepplewhite style. The top two tins on either side contribute to the folk art qualities of the presentation. Apparently purposeful and original (as evidenced by the mustard paint on the interior), these are in a completely different design that features a canted star within a circle, flanked by opposing hearts, all set within a leaf-like border. The hearts tend to suggest that this was constructed as a wedding gift. The lanterns are unusual and may reference lighting at the ceremony itself.

The best feature of the safe lies not in any of the aspects above, but rather in its outstanding, tomato red-painted surface. The richly saturated color commands attention in any room.

The superior construction is complemented by period brass hardware. The mustard-painted interior is an early surface. While neither especially large or small, the case is nonetheless shorter than the typical pie safe of this width, being nearer to the size of a smallish jelly cupboard or chest of drawers. All told, a wonderful addition to any collection.

Condition: This is a second surface, but an early one, probably dating to the mid-latter 19th century. The lower edge of the tins have experienced some rust and loss. Four of these were at some point repaired. In three instances (bottom on left side, top and middle on right side), the repair was completed by adding a length of fluted molding in the same tomato red. The last repair is the only recent one. This was done by slipping a small piece of tin behind the area with loss. With an affected area measuring approx. 3/4" at the widest point by about 5" in length, the underlay was punched with a row of holes and painted to match. This was done in such a way that it cannot be seen from the interior. There is an old and extremely sturdy repair to a split in the left front leg, and a putty mend to minor loss on the lower edge where the skirt meets the leg. These were both done prior to the red paint and so is a very old repair. On the reverse, there are two chips in the lowest horizontal backboard, where it meets each leg.
Primary Color: tomato red
Earliest Date: 1830
Latest Date: 1850
For Sale Status: Available
Price $10,500
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