Dowry chest
© ASTRA National Museum Complex Sibiu
Material/ Technique: Beech wood, cut, carved, joined in wooden nails; treated with stain; metal
Size: 70 x 35 x 43,5 cm

Ethnical group: Romanian
Region: Răşinari village, Mărginimea Sibiului area, Sibiu County, Transylvania
Period of time: 20th century
Utility: Piece of furniture used to preserve young women’s dowry

Description: Parallelepiped shape; chest with two compartments, having two lids with four metal hinges; it has two metallic locks on the front board; vegetal decoration on the front side and on the lids- bordered by frames made up of white and red lines; floral motifs: rose, tulip; phytomorph motifs: stylized leaves; chromatics: brown, blue, green, red, black, white.

Economic sector: Worked in a rural workshop, in homestead; On the nowadays market this type of object can be found rather difficult (rather in an antique shop than in a workshop) at prices between 2000-2500 lei (according the meticulosity of motifs or the size of the object), but unfortunately the interest for buying this kind of object decreased, having these days mostly a decorative value. Anyway, there are a few buyers among the specialists or among the museums. According to our field research, nowadays in Romania exists only one person, in Sibiu County who paints this kind of pieces of furniture. The painted furniture is specific to Saxons and Szecklers, important ethnical groups in Transylvania. There are about 10 people in the entire country who practice this craft, among them a few Romanians, too, most of them being Szecklers. There is a general tendency to make this kind of objects, but in miniature size, the dowry chest being transformed this way in a jewellery box, or other items that are still created serve strictly decorative purpose.

Source: Wood. Bone. Metal Collection (Inventory No. 1340 L), ASTRA Museum of Transylvanian Civilization. ASTRA National Muséum Complex Sibiu