This piece is signed and initialed by Ann Butler, eldest daughter of Aaron Butler (1790–1860) who came to Greene County, New York, from Connecticut in 1799 and established a general store, hay press, cider mill, and brandy business. His home on Brandy Hill also became the site of his tin shop, which opened in 1824 and continued to operate until a few years before his death. The tin shop employed as many as forty workers, including most members of his own family.
Butler's sons were occupied with the manufacture and distribution of the tinwares, and several of his daughters painted the floral decorations. Ann took over decorating by the age of fourteen or fifteen and probably taught her sisters how to paint. She married about 1840 and moved with her husband, Eli Scutt, to Livingstonville, New York. Her work is characterized by dense decoration with a variety of tulips, rosebuds, and diamond baskets, with multiple filler elements.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Trunk," in American Anthem: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum (New York: Harry N. Abrams in association with American Folk Art Museum, 2001), 319.