This Allen family blanket chest descended in the family of John Allen. It is thought that the initials “ET” belong to Elizabeth Thomas, a relative of John Allen’s wife, Rebecca. The initials on the front of the chest are of sulfur inlay. The technique is simple, a small groove is carved into the piece and then molten sulfur poured in the groove. When it cools, the sulfur expands thus locking it into place. The chest dates from 1790-1805. It is made of walnut with tulip poplar as the secondary wood. The family would have used the chest to store extra bedding and linens as well as precious keepsakes.
The chest was recently featured in the latest edition of American Furniture. Head to www.chipstone.org to check it out!