Schrank is an occupational surname of Germanic descent (from the old high German “scranc”), and may be loosely translated to mean cabinet, cold-cabinet, closet or even saw. As an antique item, a schrank almost always means a tall wardrobe-like German chest with double doors. It was typically constructed so as to partially dismantle for transport to a matrimonial home, and often served as a hope chest. The example shown here a Lancaster (Pa.) Chippendale walnut architectural schrank with bold ogee and dentil step-molded cornice, as well as a paneled frieze.

The piece sold for $15,730 (with the buyer’s premium) at Hess Auction’s December 3, 2016 antiques and Americana sale in Mannheim, Pennsylvania. Also, a Chippendale tall case clock chimed on time for $8,260. One other interesting sidelight about schrank: people who have Shrank as their surname include the German botanist and entomologist Franz Paula von Schrank (1747-1835), the failed American assassin John F. Schrank (1876-1943), the Northern Wisconsin hermit and recluse Allan Schrank (b. 1951), and the cartoonist Peter Schrank (b. 1952).