American Decorative Arts
Maker, attributed to: Peter Blin, American, born England, died 1725



Frame, white oak; drawer back, bottom of upper and lower cupboard, shelf in upper cupboard, other elements, southern yellow pine; backboards, drawer bottom, yellow poplar; balusters, bosses, spindles, possibly a maple; applied moldings, dentils, probably eastern red cedar

56 1/4 × 49 1/2 × 21 1/2 in. (142.88 × 125.73 × 54.61 cm)
other (Case): 46 15/16 × 20 1/8 in. (119.2 × 51.1 cm)
Bequest of Charles Wyllys Betts, B.A. 1867
This cupboard is part of a group of formal furniture from the Wethersfield area in the Connecticut River Valley. The group is ornamented with carved tulip and sunflower motifs. In addition to the carving, the profusion of ornament—the bold turnings, the ebonized, applied bosses and dentils, and the once boldly tiger-striped moldings—play against the strong, rectilinear outlines of the cupboard.
Made in Wethersfield, Connecticut
On view
17th–18th century

Charles Wyllys Betts (1845–1887), New York; bequest in 1887 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Gerald W. R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988), 47, 93, 375, 379–82, no. 195, pl. 17.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 87, ill.

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 189–90, no. 97, ill.

Judith Bernstein et al., The Eye of the Beholder: Fakes, Replicas, and Alterations in American Art, ed. Gerald W. R. Ward, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1977), 66, fig. 84.

Dennis Andrew Carr, American Colonial Furniture: Guide to the Collection, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2004), 2–3, 16, fig. 2.

Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury, 1st ed., 3 vols. (Framingham, Mass.: Old American Company Publishers, 1928–33), vol. 1, no. 449, ill.

Wallace Nutting, Furniture of the Pilgrim Century 1620–1720 (Framingham, Mass.: Old American Company Publishers, 1924), 184, 212, fig. 202.

Wallace Nutting, Furniture of the Pilgrim Century, 1620–1720 (Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1921), 127, ill.

“The Magazine Antiques,” Antiques 49 (February 1946): ill. on cover, ill.

Walter A. Dyer, “The Tulip-and-Sunflower Press Cupboard,” Antiques 27 (April 1935): 142, fig. 4.

John T. Kirk, Early American Furniture: How to Recognize, Evaluate, and Care for the Most Beautiful Pieces: High Style, Country, Primitive and Rustic (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), 40, 42, fig. 27.

Patricia E. Kane, “The Joiners of Seventeenth-Century Hartford County,” Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin 35 (July 1970): 67–68, fig. 2.

Joseph T. Butler, American Furniture from the First Colonies to World War I (London: Triune Books, 1973), 12.

John T. Kirk, American Furniture and the British Tradition to 1830 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982), 93–94, fig. 227.

Victor Chinnery, Oak Furniture: The British Tradition (Suffolk, England: Antique Collector’s Club Ltd., 1979), 509–511, fig. 4:213.

Christopher Wilk, The Art of Wood Turning (New York: Museum of Arts and Design, 1983), fig. 11.

Dean A. Fales, Jr., American Painted Furniture, 1660–1880, eds. Robert Bishop and Cyril I. Nelson (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972), n.p., fig. 14.

James P. Walsh, Connecticut Industry and the Revolution, 29 (Hartford, Conn.: American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1978), 29.

Michael Goldman, “Curators in Wonderland: A Survey of Wishful Thinking,” Antiques World 3 (March 1981): 40, ill.

Patricia E. Kane, “American Furniture in the Yale University Art Gallery,” Antiques 117, no. 5 (June 1980): pl. 1.

Luke Vincent Lockwood, Three Centuries of Connecticut Furniture, 1635–1935: An Exhibition at the Morgan Memorial, Hartford as art of the Celebration of the Tercentenary of Connecticut, exh. cat. (Hartford, Conn.: Morgan Memorial, 1935), 15, no. 30.

Connecticut Furniture: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, exh. cat. (Hartford, Conn.: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1967), no. 106.

The Great River: Art and Society in the Connecticut Valley, 1635–1820, exh. cat. (Hartford, Conn.: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1985), 198–200, no. 78.

Robert F. Trent and Jonathan Fairbanks, eds., New England Begins: The Seventeenth Century, 3 vols., exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1982), 266–67, no. 257, vol. 2.

Joshua W. Lane and Donald P. White III, “Fashioning Furniture and Framing Community: Woodworkers and the Rise of a Connecticut River Valley Town,” American Furniture (2005): 149–50, fig. 6.

Susan Schoelwer, “Connecticut Sunflower Furniture: A Familiar Form Reconsidered,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 40, no. 2 (Spring 1989): 21, 23, 31, fig. 1, 9.

Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.