Lot 1160


Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$200 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

EXTREMELY RARE SHENANDOAH VALLEY OF VIRGINIA PAINT-DECORATED BENTWOOD OVAL BOX, yellow pine and poplar, of impressive size, the covered form of lapped construction secured with wire staples and wire nails. Retains outstanding original polychrome decoration, featuring stylized floral devices with additional line and dot designs throughout, along with an unusual opposing pair of horse-and-rider figures to reverse, all against a green ground. The Barb family, Mt. Clifton area, Shenandoah Co., VA. Circa 1800. 6 3/4" H, 16 3/4" L.
Literature: Parallels Garvin - The Pennsylvania German Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, p. 13, fig. 15; and Little - Neat and Tidy, p. 99, fig. 103. See Pook & Pook - The Pioneer Americana Collection of Dr. & Mrs. Donald Shelley, April 20-21, 2007, lot 739 for an example signed and inscribed by Jacob Barb.
Catalogue Note: The present, fresh-to-the-market box is from a small, but important group of paint-decorated boxes and chests produced by multiple generations of the Barb family in Shenandoah County, Virginia from the 1780s to the 1830s. Attribution for the group is based on the box formerly in the Donald Shelley collection, referenced above, which bears the inked inscription "Jacob Barb This 24th day of August 1831". The group currently consists of nine oval boxes, in three sizes, and two yellow pine chests without drawers. Two of the boxes reside in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Colonial Williamsburg. Both were originally attributed to Pennsylvania, but have now been correctly reattributed. Four of the other boxes descended directly in families living in Shenandoah County. Both of the chests also carry Shenandoah County provenance. The horse-and-rider decoration on the present box is highly unusual for this group, possibly unique, and clearly demonstrates a cultural link between the backcountry artisan who decorated the piece and the Old World traditions from which he or she was drawing inspiration. Research in preparation for an article on this group is currently underway. See Lots 1159 and 1161 in the present sale for similar examples attributed to this school.


Good overall condition with minor to moderate scattered wear and discoloration. A few very minor losses to cover flange.

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The important collection of H. Marshall Goodman Jr., Richmond, VA.
Ex-Don Walters, Goshen, IN.