Antique circa 1780-1830 painted hand carved folk art wood wall mount game and utensil rack with 11 hand wrought hooks and carved decoration, originally made for hanging fowl (pheasants, etc.), and great for use and display in a country home. It measures 35 1/2" long x 8 3/4" high. The green paint is an old 19th century re-coat, over original red paint with lots of alligator texture. I purchased it out of an old log cabin on the Otter Tail River in western Minnesota. A splendid piece of early American folk art , this circa 1780-1830 board is a wonderful representation of someone placing an artful element in an otherwise utilitarian item. A piece such as this is often referred to as a 'game board' as it's primary function would have been to have game and fowl hang from one of the wrought iron hooks as it awaited preparation from a cook or hearth attendee. Likewise, as domestic workers would have returned from a garden or marketplace, the piece would also have served to hold vegetables, herbs and period cooking utensils . As you can see the piece is a single pine or poplar board. The original craftsman has worked in two hex sign decorations below the Queen-Anne carved formed top arch. Hex signs were a popular motif of the Pennsylvania Germans, often showing up on the sides of barns, frakturs and quilts; a vital element in art work of the culture and a treasured symbol. Originally the piece was stained a light red color. Sometime over its life, likely in the late 19th century, a coat of green paint was applied to it. As you can see, some of the paint has worn off over the last century, giving the piece a lovely polychrome decoration with the best country paint appeal. The wrought iron hooks were all hand forged, black smith made. Two wrought iron hooks have been added on the top for hanging. Today this piece would make an excellent way to display a set of period utensils, miniature baskets, and other fine country antiques. Similar examples can be seen in the interiors of "Country Living" magazine's book of period homes. This wonderful country rack is certain to be a warm addition to any period decor. Really a great country display piece, sturdy and usable- enjoy!
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