Folk Art Nantucket Miniature Decorated Sea Chest, likely circa 1940s or earlier, a classic six board chest with canted front, carved wooden beckets with rope handles, lid has edge braces and is attached via three leather hinges, there is painted rope "bumper" around the edge of the lid and framing the front panel of the chest. In and of itself it is a fantastic miniature sea chest with good age.
But there is more: the chest is painted inside and out in Nantucket Red, and has a great seascape on the front with a fully rigged Barkentine under full sail, approaching a lighthouse on rocky islet, under a blazing sunrise lit sky. The lid has a blue fouled anchor beneath the worn faint inscription "Nantucket Mass" and flanked by the date 1825 within starbursts; the edge is decorated with crosses and dots, leaves, and signal flags in the corners. The sides are decorated with tobacco leaves, a sailor's symbol of good fortune and prosperity often seen on scrimshaw.
The chest and painted decoration is in great condition, as is the rope and beckets. The leather hinges are relatively new (replacing originals that must have dried and cracked). The date was either copied off an antique sea chest, or had some special meaning to the maker, or was just chosen as decorative motif.
Measures: 4 in H x 8-1/2 in L x 3-3/4 in W