Object photography

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On View Barbara Weld Putnam Gallery, level 1

Object description

  • James Symonds (American, 1636-1726)
  • Valuables cabinet, 1679
  • Oak, maple, iron, paint
  • Salem, Massachusetts, United States
  • H: 16 1/2 in, W: 17 in, D: 9 1/2 in (H: 41.9 cm, W: 43.2 cm, D: 24.1 cm)
  • Museum purchase with anonymous funds, 2000
  • 138011


This is a valuables cabinet made to commemorate the wedding of Joseph Pope and Bathsheba Folger of Salem Village, now Danvers, Massachusetts. The cabinet is filled with ten drawers. It was originally fitted with an iron lock and key. The cabinet has a well proportioned and elaborately decorated facade which includes applied ornaments, such as finely turned half spindles which function as columns, and a central mitered octagonal sunburst panel that bears the initials of the owners and date of their marriage. The sides of the cabinet reflect a different decorative technique, shallow strapwork carving in the form of double S-scrolls. The cabinet retains its original painted surface. A reddish brown paint composed of red ochre, raw umber and lampblack was applied to the main body and various moldings. A rich black paint was applied to the turned ornaments, feet and recessed areas on the carved sides. Parts of the central panel were left natural and simply covered with a clear varnish.

Exhibition History

  • Upcoming Exhibition, Peabody Essex Museum; 2015 through Present
  • American Decorative Arts exhibition, Peabody Essex Museum; June 03, 2003 through Present
  • Wedded Bliss: The Marriage of Art and Ceremony, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; April 26, 2008 through September 14, 2008
  • New and Noteworthy, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; March 09, 2001 through May 20, 2001