18th Century Sugar Chest

Introducing a reproduction traditional piece of 18th Century furniture, the Sugar Chest. Known as a sugar chest in the south and a cellaret in the north, its original purpose was to lock away inside its generous case valuable cone sugar or liquors to keep them from servants and children. Its drawer held the tools needed for nipping lumps of sugar for tea or coffee and other serving utensils. The pullout shelf was used for serving. Today it can be used as a liquor cabinet or to store valuables and other goods out of sight.

This delicate beauty measures approximately 24" wide by 13" deep and 36" high. It sits on tapered legs attached to a surrounding apron, in which are located a generous drawer and a pullout shelf, and is topped by an attractive platform that completes the base. A large dovetailed case sits atop the base. It is fitted with a lid that is attached to the case with strap hinges and includes a brass lock mechanism.

The sugar chest is entirely constructed of tiger maple, a variety noted for its elegant striped pattern.

The drawer and shelf hardware is solid brass from Horton Brasses. The strap hinges are hand forged by Fisher Forge in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The chest is constructed using time-tested traditional methods. The case is constructed with through dovetails, the strongest method for securing corners. The legs are attached to the apron with mortise and tenon joints that afford superior strength. The entire piece is built in the workshop of Norman Reid, in Delaplane, Fauquier County, Virginia.

The sugar chest is given its spectacular color with several coats of "New England" dye stain mix wiped on and then sanded back until the tiger stripes have reached the desired depth. The final dye coat is left unsanded to achieve full color.

The top is then sprayed with five coats of a water-based polyurethane, then buffed to a satin sheen. The polyurethane gives a hard and durable finish that lacks a plastic look. The piece is completed by hand rubbing with Renaissance Wax.to bring out full color and a fingerprint free surface.

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