Soap Hollow Chest of Drawers

This chest of drawers is a fine example made by the Amish-Mennonite cabinetmakers of the Soap Hollow region in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. These chests are constructed with recessed paneled sides often with initials for whom the chest was made as well a date in this case “L.C.” and “1871” respectively.

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Although it is stenciled "MANUFACTURED BY JOHN SALA" on the rail beneath the three small upper drawers, by 1871, the attribution should be made to his sons Joseph and John M.


Cherry, poplar and pine with the original red and black painted finish decorated with yellow striping and polychromed and gilt-stenciled floral and geometric designs. Original porcelain pulls, inlaid escutcheons and iron locks.

Ht. 57 1/2", W. 39 1/2", D. 21"

For a related examples see: Charles R. Muller, "Soap Hollow, The Furniture and its makers". Also note the Dutch cupboard pictured on page 19 which also bears the inscription "MANUFACTURED BY JOHN SALA" dated "1875" and bears the same initials "L.C." This chest of drawers is listed in the appendix on p. 88. Illustrated: "Eagles", Issue date May 31, 1989, Vol. 2, Number 5. This magazine reports the sale of this chest on "Memorial Day, 1989" near Harrisonville, Pennsylvania.