Attributed to John Thurston American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 708

Small, rectangular oak boxes with hinged lids were common in seventeenth-century households, where they held important items such as documents, writing implements, books, jewelry, and currency. Like chests with carved decoration, boxes displayed a vocabulary of stylized plant forms and simple geometric shapes. Foliated S-scrolls, as single elements or paired—as on the front of this box and the sides of the cabinet to its right—were widely used.

Box, Attributed to John Thurston (1607–1685), White oak, red oak, yellow pine, American

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