Specializing in Folk Art and Painted Antiques

Sold : Furniture

Dower Chest for “Henrich Neisz” (SOLD)

Dower Chest for “Henrich Neisz” (SOLD)

This ‘Heart-warming’ chest with its’ exuberant decoration belongs to a group of chests made in the Oley Valley of Berks County and later Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. This example has survived with vibrant color that compliments the bold and beautiful hearts and pin-wheel designs.


Dimensions: H 31", W 51 3/4", D 23"
Date / Circa: Dated "1785"
Maker / Origin: Attributed to John Bieber(1763-1825), Berks County, Pennsylvania
Medium: Pine and poplar retaining the original polychrome painted finish, iron strap hinges & escutcheon, and brass pulls.
Miscellaneous: Descended in the Rhoads family of Berks County, this chest came to us directly from a descendant of Heinrich Neiss. In the mid 19th century, the feet were removed and casters were added. The base molding and feet that you see here are a restoration templated from a closely related chest of the same date. In an earlier publication, this group of furniture including chests and schranks were attributed to John Bieber. See: Shaner, Bieber Family of Furniture Makers in Oley Valley, "Historical Review of Berks County", Vol 71, No 3, pgs. 123-126. For more recent scholarly research see: Cooper and Minardi, Paint, Pattern & People, pgs. 148-149.

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