National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Pennsylvania German Hanging Salt Box Pennsylvania German Hanging Salt Box
Rendered by Betty Jean Davis (artist), c. 1939
watercolor, graphite, and pen and ink on paper
overall: 36.2 x 32.5 cm (14 1/4 x 12 13/16 in.) Original IAD Object: 7 1/2" deep; 10" high; 7 1/2" wide
Index of American Design
1943.8.3746
Not on View
From the Tour: Pennsylvania German Folk Art from the Index of American Design
Object 12 of 23

Pennsylvania Germans made wooden boxes for a variety of uses. They were often carved or whittled into ornamental shapes and then painted with decorative motifs. This box, used to store salt, was hung near the fireplace to keep its contents dry. Hanging boxes were also made to hold kitchen knives, tableware, and other utensils. The floral motif decorating this box is surrounded by geometrical shapes and a white notch-like border. The box is inscribed with the owner's name and that of the craftsman: "Anne Leterman Anno Dommini 1797" and "John Drissell his hand May 22nd 1797."

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