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Wedding Chest

Wedding Chest

Maker: Dobieslaw Walknowski

Date Made: 1961

Place Made: Krakow, Poland

Medium: Wood, pigment

Dimensions: 24 1/2 x 38 1/4 x 19 inches 

This wedding chest was handcrafted in Poland in the traditional Polish folk style.  It's exterior is painted various vibrant colors with designs and patterns carved on interior. The interior is inscribed "JFK 1961 R".  The "R" stands for "Rok" meaning year in Polish.

When a bride and groom are married in Polish tradition, during the wedding ceremony their hands are bound with a piece of embroidered cloth and held over a loaf of bread. The embroidered cloth along with other treasured items were traditionally saved in a dowry chest like this one which became a popular piece of furniture in the married couple's house throughout their lifetime.

 

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum