As everyone in Kensington knows, Antique Row is one of the community’s points of pride. Howard Avenue and its side streets are lined with shops specializing in antique furniture, rugs, vintage toys, used books and more. This large presence in the community sparked our feature, Antique of the Week, where we will showcase a different item or curiosity each week to bring attention to pieces from the past.
This week, we’re featuring a Hungarian dowry chest, dated 1803. A dowry chest was given as a gift by the village to the young bride, said Linda Sutherland, one of the proprietors of The Great British Pine Mine. She said that the initials of the bride and groom are inscribed on the trunk as well as the year of their marriage. The trunk was designed for the newlywed to store linens that she brought to her new home.
The interior candle box is on the right side, which Sutherland noted is almost always on the left side. She said the odor of the candles in the trunk would serve as a deterrent from rodents and other pests from infiltrating the trunk.
Another unique feature to the trunk is the diamond design surrounding the initials of the bride and groom. Sutherland remarked that it is a typical registration mark used on ceramics in England, as early as 1842. Because this trunk is dated 1803, she would be particularly interested in learning if anyone knows of an earlier use of this motif.
The dimensions to the trunk are 39 inches wide, 23 inches deep, and 24 inches tall. It is composed entirely of pine. It is being sold for $1,695 at , which is located at 4144 Howard Avenue. The phone number is 301-493-2565.