Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Silver Twin's ...Place... In New England Decorative Art - Part Six - "Less Noticed"

The Silver Twin's ...Place...

In New England Decorative Art

Part Six

"Less Noticed"

            “Decoration” (“for decoration”) is that nasty word:
            “Salvation”; the word that saves:
            The salvation of decoration is that it ‘saves’ (preserves).
            Or is it better preserved in one’s mind
            (A mental decoration) (“I know.”)?

            I didn’t set out to find that... kind of crap... out.  No... I just scampered... up (at the Silver Twin’s Place) their tiny stairs to the (door always closed) ‘unfinished’ (attic) “chamber”.  Therein I never pondered their iota that came up hill, was used then “put away” and “left alone” (Part Five): An obsolete “SPINNING WHEEL”.
            You say.  I didn’t bother to call it that.  No:  I said “THAT” (I will pay “THAT” amount of cash right now) “FOR THAT”.  And around we went... in the unfinished chamber.  I wasn’t the first one to do this “buy stuff” in that chamber.  No.  But:
            “GOOD ENOUGH” I was at it.  That day.  With my truck turned around and pointed down hill and... well “tucked” “in the back” with

            Did my frenzy fever abate?  At the bottom of the hill.  “Did I” any of this chamber plunder... even then?
            I sure did.  “Yes” because the “no” was that even then; the whole commercial antiquary sub-tribe already “passed” “on that” (the old stuff put away and left alone in old Maine Colonial era homestead shed chamber ‘attics’).  Already they had “saying no” perfected.  From the moment I first found my findings of old ‘left alone’ in  old ‘left alone’ attics the “they” “who buy” only... did not try
            To buy
            Any of my
            So little
            I was “stuck with” a
            Bed warmer (bed warming pan)

            The bed warming pan was first noticed by I (my eye) well before that I (eye) actually looked at one because...
            At every proper old upper-middle and old upper New England Wasp home’s fireplace setting... one passively noticed this symbolic decoration “hanging there”... always there... from, yes; childbirth and one’s death... too.  Put away.  Left alone.  Never disturbed (‘undisturbed’).  It is reported that the expression “born with a silver warming pan in his/her bed” ***is... too... of the same expressive history as the still heard ‘silver spoon in mouth’ litany excepting... the demotion of the former expression due to... “no one knows” what a ‘warming pan’ “is”. 

*** Henry J. Kaufmann, AMERICAN COPPER AND BRASS, Bonanza Books, New York, 1979, pg. 85.

Foremost; a (solid coin) silver warming pan is quite a find.  Good luck with that for it will not happen.  A large money check may possibly procure a Seventeenth Century English coin silver “one” but...:  Traditionally... so domestically... in New England... by the fireplace or ‘in’ the ‘attic’... they (bed warming pans) be either “brass” or “copper”. And....:
Properly for our discussion... MADE in ‘old’ (Colonial / Federal) New England.  Now I am starting to construct an antiquarian appreciation platform to stand on?  Yes.  But I stay with ‘decoration’.  That is where it began and/or begins for each of us... ‘born that way’.  Yes... you have ‘seen this’ you say.  “Over there” by the ‘there’ fireplace.  It hung there.  Always there.  How many hundred years does it hang there?  All of the hundreds of years “since”
            “The Pilgrims Landed”.

            So... and foremost again... the ‘those’ (bed warmers) of the Seventeenth Century “CAME” from “ENGLAND” and ‘look different’ than New England made bed warmers.  They have iron handles, smaller (brass) ember buckets and smaller less well fitting ‘lids’.  I will not expostulate upon these (abundant in the market and derived from many different European countries; Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, etc.).  It is a ‘taste’ – “class” and ‘decoration’ thing.  Simply; one... Wasp... decorates (by hung by the fireplace) with a New England “American Made” Colonial bed warmer of fitted brass or copper and with this having too... a traditional (and ‘old surface’ original) lathe turned wood (maple) handle.

            Yes it is that simple and that nasty.  If one ‘of that’ goes “home” to mother’s house promptly, one may still be able to ‘purloin’ hers... if it is there.  Still.  It usually is.  And:  You will be the first of your generation to ‘ask after that’.  IF... it is a ‘she doesn’t have one... GO TO GRANDMOTHER’S house.  She did.  Does she still?  BETTER HOPE SO.  And do not worry, if Granny is still among the living she will be delighted to ‘find out you care’ about her
            Old bed warming pan.  (“Bed pan”).

            This is not a joke and it is not funny.  There are two readerships at this juncture.  Those that ‘know’ and those that ‘don’t know’.  That clean a cut.  No one is “maybe” with this; the old New England Wasp fireplace decorative traditional bed warming pan ‘hung there’.  From birth to death.  One may go one’s whole life with ‘one there’ and ‘never touch it’.  Yes.  The decoration standard that is the salvation that preserves the old bed warming pan... in old New England... is deeply imbedded.  Look around and see (discover) this (them hanging there) for yourself.  And, of course:
            HANG ONE YOURSELF.  If you ‘have any taste’.  Real and right ones are NOT hard to find ‘for sale’ these days.  No one will “ASK” or “MAKE ANYTHING” of it.  Most of “THEM” will...
            Not even notice
            Your new decoration.
            That “came down through the family”.  Meaning...:  Do I have my grandmother’s
            Old bed warmer?
            Yes I do.

            So why did the Silver Twins have a bed warmer?  Up hill up there in the homestead, used, put away and left alone.  WHERE?  Was it.  Did they?  No... it never made it to the chamber (“attic”).  It was ‘still hanging there’ (by the fireplace).  When I bought it.  I bought it and took it... back down the hill... two hundred years after it was brought up the hill and ‘hung there’.  Really:  I knowingly did that.  You weren’t around to stop me.  As usual.
            So why did the Silver Twin’s Place have a bed warmer?
            Because the beds were freezing and they used the bed warmer to
            WARM THEM UP.
            Every night.
            All “winter”
            For decades and

            Yes.  And then ‘it’ ‘stopped’?
            Cold beds never stopped.  In Maine.
            I know.  I grew up a cold bedroom with a cold bed.  Every night.  It was a toasty hot bed in my mornings.  My water glass ‘was frozen’ on the table next to me.  But my bed was a healthy hot... when I left it.
            It was a healthy cold that night when I returned.  I never used a bed warmer.  But I know what they used them for.  And why.  The bed warmer in my family was always hanging up downstairs by the fireplace.  Always
            I still have it.
            It is still hanging up... by my fireplace.  Additionally... I always have a few around.  They never ‘sell out’.

            The bed warming pan is more traditional...  and less noticed... than... the New England Wasp decorative proper of ‘thread bare rugs’.  It is more “just there”.  Even more ‘just there’ than “coin silver spoons”.  Wasp décor always have ‘coin silver spoons’ that are ...almost... ‘less noticed’ but
            Do get noticed so
            The bed warming pan is... ‘less noticed’. 

            A part of ‘less noticed’ you need to know?  IF... I am a “there” in your “there”, I do notice “IT” there or... not there.  There is there... ‘less noticed’.  Not there... is ‘there’ too... especially if my being there is to be there for antiques there that are said there to be there as... old New England Wasp... antiques... there.  If it (the Colonial New England bed warmer) is not hanging there then...
            “Ahhhh....” the antiques there may too there... not be from
            “EASTERN KENTUCKY” or from “MULE, MISSOURI”... it turns out “they came”.  I, of course, say nothing.  It’s not my fault they ‘don’t know’.  And show it.  I mean:  I’m the one who was in the Silver Twin’s Place.  These people don’t even know what a Silver Twin’s Place is.  Let alone that an old New England ‘bed warming pan’ was hanging there.
            And they show that (‘don’t even know’)
            To me.
            And I cannot be snotty.  But how am I going to buy traditional New England Decorative Art from someone who ‘doesn’t have any’.  And doesn’t know it.  And shows that
            To me.
            There... and then... (they show me)... while I remember as how once my dust dirty hand ‘lifted off’ the Silver Twin’s bed warming pan from it’s hanging hook... beside their great... greatest-great... grandmother’s kitchen fireplace;
            I did that... I remember.
            “Less noticed”.


  1. This helps. I am starting to see (understand) that the antique items in an old New England Wasp home can be: authentic in place; part authentic in place and part gathered from elsewhere; all gathered from elsewhere; non-existent.

  2. I always thought that they were popcorn poppers...really.