drawer. Wednesday , September 13th , 2017 - 03:12:36 AM
Along with the sulfur inlay used in their beautiful designs, ivory, shell, contrasting colored wood and bone were additional materials placed into the wood chiseled incisions. Many of the blanket chests crafted in Pennsylvania by German immigrants were artfully inlaid with leaf and floral designs flowing out from vases. The vases would have been created out of one of the additional materials.Sulfur inlay was also used to create string inlay and inlaid keyhole escutcheon in geometric patterns as an additional design element. This inlay was very fine in detail so that all of the designs created were very sophisticated in appearance.
Sulfur when initially poured is bright yellow in color. This lead historians to do some research about the aging phenomena of the inlays. They found that the inlays changed their color to ivory when there was a particle size decrease of the sulfur used in these designs. This was caused by repeated climatic changes on the blanket chests over the course of 200 years, especially in an uncontrolled environment. This would also be why many of the hope chests found in historical collections decorated with sulfur inlay display some cracking and splitting of the sulfur.
Walnut was a much used wood type in years past for hope chests since it was so readily available. Now, this wood type can be fairly expensive for fully aged wood furniture. This has put Cherry and Oak in high demand. These hardwoods are easier to find in quality plank pieces which have been kiln dried. This is a much quicker way to 'age' wood. It can easily take a year or more to 'age' wood in the normal fashion.
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