A Snow Hill Society painted lift top blanket chest on trestle feet. Made of pine throughout, retaining its original marbleized paint decoration.
Pennsylviania, c.1820. 22″ x 67″ x 18″.
Ex Folk Art Collection of Rick and Terry Ciccotelli of Philadelphia.
Snow Hill Society, an offshoot of Ephrata, was a pious community of Seventh Day Baptists who began meeting in the second half of the 18th century. Members of the Schneeberger (Snowberger) family were devoted followers. In 1798, when the group determined to officially establish a communal component and have its own regular house of worship, the Snowbergers provided space and formally arranged for their land, Snow Hill, to be given to the society when it was incorporated in 1823. The monastic community established a grist mill, tailor and weaver shops, tin and copper shops, a brick kiln and a printing shop on those 108 acres. The communal society was monastic (the celibates were known as Solitaries), but the congregation included married members (known as Householders) who did not reside on site. Dwindling membership resulted in Snow Hill being disbanded in 1889. The last monastic member, Obed Snowberger, died in 1895. The buildings were closed and everything remained intact until the 1990s, when Snow Hill documents were given to Juniata College and the furnishings were sold at auction in 1997. Among the goods were forty redware bowls, possibly used in the communal ritual meals or “love feasts”.
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