A Rare Pennsylvania Decorated Pine Chest of Drawers

Tear Sheet

William Otto (1761-1841), Mahantongo Valley, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

Dated "1824"

Ht. 48 ½’, W. 41”, D. 20 ½”

With two small drawers over three graduated long drawers, retaining the original grain-painted finish with cartouche decorated drawer fronts. The upper long drawer inscribed “Johnathan Otto 1824”; the middle long drawer inscribed “Mahantango Township” and the bottom drawer inscribed “Schuykil Caunty den 17 tag Abril 1824”

Provenance: Auction, Miller’s Barn, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, 1920’s; Adele Earnest; Steven Score Antiques; Fred Koch; Collection of Maxwell DeHart

Exhibition: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Bucknell University Center Gallery, “Decorated Furniture of the Mahantongo Valley,” 9 October – 20 November, 1987.

Literature: Reed, Decorated Furniture of the Mahantongo Valley (1987), pl. 8.; Earnest, Folk Art in America (1984), p. 21; Minardi, “From Millbach to Mahantongo: Fraktur and Furniture of the Pennsylvania Germans,” American Furniture (2011), p. 85, fig. 120.

For a similarly decorated blanket chest attributed to William Otto, see Kirtley, Start with a House Finish with a Collection (2014), pp. 234-235.