Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Henry O. Studley's Tool Chest
Henry Studley was a Civil War veteran and a piano maker in Massachusetts. He built this tool chest using ebony, mother-of-pearl, ivory, rosewood, and mahogany, probably leftover scraps from building pianos. Wikipedia has an article about him.
I wonder what in his heart drove him to create such a wondrous work of art. It's owned by a private collector, but oh man would I love to see it in person, to touch it, to open one of those little drawers.
As a soldier, Studley was captured near Galveston, Texas in 1863. I know a lot of war vets, and they all find different ways to cope with the demons that war embeds in a man's soul. I suspect that this tool chest may have been Henry's way of coping: A world he could construct and control and make perfect, and perfectly wonderful.
Many of us, in our wood shops or on our jobs, do something similar in smaller ways.
Thanks to Eric Larsen of Key Knife, who turned me on to this marvel.