The Silver Twin's ...Place...
In New England Decorative Art
Picking up my “I found out exactly what I wanted: ... I wanted a certain expression... that is as if a... certain breeze... whispering: A certain expression of a certain breeze that comes whispering” (Part Seven) And: Retrieving with that my notice of the Concord Museum (Part Seven also)... I use the latter to protect my ‘what I wanted’ before defining ‘breeze that comes whispering’ at the Silver Twin’s Place.
I am not the only antiquarian who feels a breeze and hears a whispering. The most common antiquarian reference is the expression “It (any ...but of that moment usually... a certain antique object) speaks to me” (“Is speaking to me”). If that is new to you it is probably because it is a ‘little too in daily use’; you missed it (hearing it). That is okay. If you listen for it now, one will hear it. Better for our chat is to flip to the introductory pages of the Concord Museum collection book and
Quote the quoting of Cummings Davis, the original ‘founder’ (collector) of the museum:
“Spirits of the past that whisper
Pleasant tales of long ago”
Davis hijacked his own words (the quote above) from his own poem about his own... “tall clock” (‘grandfather’ ‘clock’) and used them (1870) to define, as printed advertisement, his “antiquarian rooms” that were the original Concord Museum (David F. Wood, editor, THE CONCORD MUSEUM DECORATIVE ARTS FROM A NEW ENGLAND COLLECTION, The Concord Museum, Concord, MA, 1996, pages xv-xvi). So... my point... is... ‘whispering’ antiques came well before I started listening to them. But: We do need to know, if only ‘know of’, this ‘certain breeze... whispering’ accolade... to understand what happens next when one seeks to define the Silver Twin’s ...Place... in New England Decorative Art.
It is an aesthetic. Art, history and heritage... the Silver Twin’s Place. It is art. It is history and... it is heritage. There, as a whole, at the Silver Twin’s Place. What does this ‘look like?’
Well let me start with a bowl of ‘soup’. A... bowl... of soup. Look at it; a bowl of soup. NOW ADD ‘New England’ too. And recalibrate the bowl of soups to be that; New England... so be then
“Chowder” and/or “Lobster Stew”. Yes: New England bowls of soup. Look at them.
As an aesthetic.
They are art. They are history. They are heritage. Critiqued with these (aesthetic) advantages they ARE aesthetic to one’s eye very promptly... even though they be
Bowls of soup.
I may exemplify the chowder and stew... but I should not need to. Right? So moving along I say the “this of this” is what I am seeking at the Silver Twin’s Place. It is the ‘this of this’ of the bowl of old New England soup... that I: ‘A certain expression of a certain breeze that comes whispering’. And everyone can see that now... in the bowls of...
Old New England soup.
Let me take that to objects; take the ‘bowl of soup’ aesthetic, to an object... or two. We first notice that... the soups suggest that the Silver Twin’s Place ‘bowls of soup’ objects are... not... ‘brought up hill’ “pretty much” objects... even though SUCH an (up hill) object may too... be of ‘bowl of soup’ aesthetic. Yes; keep both these thoughts in mind for they will come back.
The easiest... surface... and form... and presence... merged with historic design place... AND ‘used’ at the Silver Twin’s Place... is found in a classic “Maine” stoneware “beehive” storage jar. Plain; just... surface, form and presence... with classical design and ...classical function... it is a stoic... in place and in use at the Silver Twin’s Place. “Put away” and then ‘left alone’ I ‘found it’
As old New England
The beehive jar is redundant in its multi-understated ‘bowl of soup’ qualities. I may say it ‘screams’ the ‘what I am seeking’. Screaming is not whispering. This storage jar, a splendid ‘spot on’... may actually be TOO... easy... to ‘get’; to see that it ‘whispers’ in the breeze.
I turn attention to a more difficult object. It is so difficult that it, for the most part, slips by... and slips away ‘not noticed’ as a paramount statement of antiquarian whispering. Further, it has no ‘commercial value’ (“worth money”). I choose a smallish Victorian style ‘ironstone’ (opaque high fire [high heat] clay body) cast molded ‘mug’; ‘coffee mug’. The design form is still with us today. This Victorian mug may be considered a design prototype for ‘the coffee mug’ we ‘use’ today. Fine; the form is understood.
But it is not imbued. That’s right. Why? It is too common (familiar) a design form. And:
Looking at this specimen, one’s eye quickly sees that it is ‘gray’. In color. So ‘gray’ in spirit... too? One passes by this object and its color. Wait. It seems ‘all gray’ but a closer poke with the eye shows the form to be ‘highlighted’ very lightly with hand painted ‘silver’ “highlights” on the rim and handle and: The handle is white. All white... ‘against’ the ‘gray’ whose ...gray... is the body of color. Yes: the gray is a color ..shown off... by the white. It is a color...:
What color? A titled color; a titled Victorian color. This color is found to be titled through another Victorian color. That color is (Victorian) “Army Blue”. This gray, therefore, is (Victorian) “Army Gray”. What armies are blue and gray? When was the gray coffee mug ‘made’? During the Victorian – Civil War era. So the heritage of the color equals the history of the color on the mug and
The mug is a Victorian design form classic that is
All at once a ‘lost’ and ‘passed by’ object has become ‘required notice’. Because it is ‘that plain’... ‘that simple’. Objects may be full of art, history and heritage but be “absurdly” simple. And be right in front of one. And be of no commercial value. Too. How does the antiquarian act to that? Well... if one in only ‘there for the money’... one is... ‘gone’. Right?
But I am not an antiquarian shuffled away by ‘money’. No. I have already told you several times: “I found out exactly what I wanted: ... I wanted a certain expression... that is as if a... certain breeze... whispering: A certain expression of a certain breeze that comes whispering”. I defined this as an aesthetic. Through several objects after two bowls of ...soup.
What I have to do now... for myself; for my personal and professional interest... in the Silver Twin’s ...Place... in New England Decorative Art... is go to the homestead and look around to see... if I see... ‘anything’ of this aesthetic... there. And:
I have to define for myself a little bit more of the up hill... down hill... or ‘made there’ boundary line. Yes; that. I said I would come back to this. The soups came up hill. Dried salted Cod Fish and oyster crackers were not made or found “there”. Nor were lobsters. They traveled “there” covered in ice and rockweed. Mostly the latter. The stoneware beehive storage jar was not made “there” either. It was made in Maine... but... ‘down hill’. The (Victorian) army gray mug was... made in England. What I want...:
What I want... is the certain breeze that comes whispering to be “made there”. Only. I want the SOUL of the Silver Twin’s ...place... in New England Decorative Art to ‘speak to me’ purely from “there”. I have already ‘found’... ‘put away’ and ‘left alone’... the sap yoke... hanging in the shed with the roof collapsed. I took that down and purchased it (Part Four). That is it: I want that aesthetic. All of it. There; in the Silver Twin’s Place. Because.
It is being destroyed. Not only do I want that ‘all’ for myself but I want it, too, FOR the Silver Twin’s place. I understood that only I sought “that” “there” and soon
My chance to find it would be gone. Because the Silver Twin’s Place would