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Pie Safe

Decorative Arts and Design

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Pie Safe

Artwork Details


Unidentified Maker, East Tennessee


ca. 1830–1860


Walnut, tulip poplar, tin, and paint

Accession #



47 1/2 × 48 1/2 × 17 1/2 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 404


This Tennessee pie safe, with its painted tins and hand-punched ventilation holes, is a premier example of this important form in the pre-ice-box American household. The multicolored painted and punched tins depict myriad symbols—including urns, stars, and candlesticks—not often found in such fine condition. The horizontal form is specific to the Eastern Tennessee/Southwestern Virginia area, where it also was often rendered artistically, as in this example. Pie safes made in Georgia and Alabama tend to be more vertical, primitive, and utilitarian.


Purchase with funds from the Fraser-Parker Foundation in memory of Nancy Fraser Parker who loved the decorative arts

Image Copyright

Photo by Michael McKelvey