By Kathryn Ombam
In 1777, Jacob II married Ann Heacock of Middletown. Ann’s father was a local cabinetmaker in Middletown, and from a Quaker family very similar to the Minshall family. As a wedding present Ann’s father gifted one of the premier pieces in Tyler’s collection, a beautiful paneled, walnut blanket-chest and with the extra sentiment of being crafted by his hand.
Blanket chests were a very traditional present for a bride of that time, and provided the 18th century family with the perfect place to store linens and clothing.
Ann Heacock was a bit unusual for a bride in 1777. She was 35 at the time of her marriage and operated a weaving business, which gives us a hint into a related piece in our collection – the miniature blanket chest. A miniature blanket chest would have been used primarily for document storage, and often on a working farm would be used as a till or cash box. Tyler’s miniature blanket chest still has its till intact.