(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The Allen sisters [Frances and Mary Allen] photographed many objects and room settings in Memorial Hall Museum in the early 19th century. This architectural shell cupboard once flanked the parlor fireplace in the 1760 home of Elijah Williams of Deerfield, Massachusetts. When that house was moved to make way for a Deerfield Academy building, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association bought the cupboard for ten dollars and installed it at Memorial Hall. It was intended for display of treasured objects of ceramic and glass and its construction was contemporary with the vogue, in the 1760s for the curved line of natural form, the shell. The elaborate scroll-pedimented doorways of the Connecticut River Valley, one of which was made for Elijah Williams's house in 1760, are related to the cupboards in the parlors.