The Silver Twin's ...Place...
In New England Decorative Art
Returning to the ‘frontier’ and updating the ‘hiatus’ (Part Nine [A]) of the Silver Twin’s Place... I briskly summarize:
Take down (shed)
Collapse (barn) (“dangerous”)
Closed up house
No real surprise there: “Awful
And add in the fifty years of “closed up” after the “LAST PEOPLE TO LIVE THERE” (the actual “Silver Twins”). The “moved them out”. The “cleaned it out”. The “got in again” (Part Nine [A])... and: All the pieces fit. Right?
The old wooden sap spiles (Part Two)... et al... I purloined, myself, the ‘best I could’. And I figured antiquers had been knocking on that door for
SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS (starting 1920’s)
For sure and that probably having a nineteenth century ‘dealer’ knock on the door
Yep...: The place
Had been ‘gone through’
Before it burned
“RACCOONS BEEN LIVING IN THE ATTIC ONE OF ‘EM COME OUT ON FIRE”. I wasn’t even around for it (the ‘burned flat’). It had been a solid decade since I even ‘last drove by’...
Up over Silver Hill.
Before I ended my ‘special events’ visits I had brought forth my ‘qualified quandary’ of the Silver Twins hoard of old New England decorative arts and have written out how that ‘carries’ using their old broken farm baskets as a specimen example of that aesthetic. And the consideration (‘qualified quandary’) of ‘setting’. Too. Then I noted my interest of ...did they (the Silver Twin’s Place) have what I called a “stoic old New England crude primitive design jewel(s)” ‘in there’ that I found” (end Part Nine [B]).
Before the place burned flat.
This last (‘burned flat’) vanquishes the second consideration of the aesthetic of ‘qualified quandary’ of ‘setting’. In case your trying to keep track. It’s just the “grown up” there now. No structures and one would ‘never know’d they’d been one’ (a Silver Twin’s Place). Or that there ever could have been a consideration of ‘qualified quandary’ of ‘setting’. Too. JUST SOME “nice” “wildflowers” when “you drive by”. So now that I have set up the cracker barrel with the checkerboard on top, let me do a couple of triple jumps of the aesthetic of the Silver Twin’s ...Place... in New England Decorative Art... and then get out (end this missive).
Leaving you to drive by the wildflowers of all this
On your own.
I cannot walk into our kitchen without noticing a ‘crude’ ‘primitive’ “shelf unit” set up against the “(black) soapstone topped” “island” in the center of the kitchen. “Flushed” up against the island in an appropriately worn old “puke” or “baby shit”*** green paint is a light as a feather ‘tombstone ends’ shelved storage unit handmade from mid nineteenth century packing crate (thin ‘finished’) boards. This unit has three ‘older’ paint ‘colors’ under the ‘green’ and retains the ‘never painted’ inner shelf boards that were ‘always covered’ (with loose paper?). It measure 30 inches wide, 34 inches tall, 14 inches deep and ‘come out of’ (I bought it from) the Silver Twin’s kitchen. It was ‘covered’ (shelves filled full) with ‘kitchen stuff’ when I spied it and bought it... all... as a unit and ‘got it out of there’. My wife took it off of me when I got home.
She wiped it down.
Put it “there”
Its been there ever since.
She likes it. I like it.
It’s got some of her cooking crud on it. Nothing overloading it.
That’s not what this is about.
It’s about the “a stoic old New England crude primitive design jewel(s) ‘in there’ that I found”.
From a perspective of (and only of) old New England design this (shelf unit) ...form... stands here as a singular fabrication of actually difficult-to-create (especially considering the light thin boards)... function intentional... balanced in size and weight... slightly embellished (tombstone top ends) made ON THE (Silver Twin’s) PLACE... and drawing from no other inspirational directives other than ...old Maine shed door barn yard design AND a few “from the wife” expressions of (design). She “I need” and/or “want”. There it is; designed, made, used. No one... anywhere else... ever. Except, of course, it’s my wife’s NOW. After “it” (the homestead) “burned” flat. Let us not make too much of this for it is
ONLY WHAT IT IS...
But that ‘what it is’ IS a ‘pure strain’ of ... old New England Decorative Art (design).
Do I have a source of evidence respecting and supporting this ‘pure strain’? Yes. I return to the Concord Museum (Parts Seven and Eight). I have used it twice already and so return to the same museum and the same reference book for their collection to find... a very special stoic old New England crude primitive design jewel.
Collection catalog number “15” “Desk” shows a “one of the humblest in the collection” (from a design perspective). It is also a “most historically significant” (heritage) too. The latter is that the desk, pencil dated 1838, was one of a set (it is believed) of identical desks constructed and... painted green... that were locally fabricated for the Thoreau brothers for their school of that year (1838). The school failed but... this single desk... survived dispersion by being retained by Henry David. He took it to the hut at Walden Pond and there wrote, including the ‘journal’ of WALDEN, on it. When he left Walden, the desk left too and reappears at the head of the stairs in Emerson’s home and was there still used for writing by Henry David. Eventually, through Thoreau’s sister, the desk passes to the Museum. Its heritage is impeccable?
It’s design is... nothing. True... it is but a green painted ‘stick’ desk; a form of that form (stick furniture). But... divinely merged with Thoreau at Walden, particularly noting the philosophic heritage (principals) of Walden... the desk and it’s design... ARE consistent with a Walden – Transcendental vision... and
Points at... too... the Silver Twin’s ...Place... and its decorative arts. Is not the essence of Walden written on this desk the very celebration of the Silver Twin’s New England homestead’s simple ‘self reliance’? Its (the Silver Twin’s Place) hand carved wooden sap spiles... are an intellectual vision? I certainly do not miss the connections and... hold them to be true. It is so true to I (us; my wife and I) that it (this intellectual vision) is in our kitchen... too. We seek it, find it, save it and protect it. Here, though, the Twin’s kitchen shelf unit, fabricated as a ‘pure strain’, becomes a splendid third ‘triple jump’ of this aesthetic when wedded to Thoreau and his desk.
A step higher?
Although that comparative unit works fine for buttressing the ‘stoic old New England crude primitive design jewel’ object I have been harping about... so it may become the ‘THE’ “...place...” of New England Decorative Art contributed by the Silver Twin’s homestead...
Like my ‘that’; the “MINE.... THAT”... a little bit more ‘hardball’. That means, principally, I like it ‘older’ (Colonial settlement era) and crafted ...tougher... meaning a little more past a ‘your not gonna just FIND THAT’. Object... so...: What I bring up as ...triple jump... support and evidence for this ‘step higher’ is... an old
Barn door. Weather beaten old relic abandoned moved tossed pitched nailed up dragged here and there used again and again but always the managing to be the same: A Barn Door. This one... “Jesus I don’t know WHERE it came from on that property” but it was
STILL THERE and... I said “Oh wow” right away and... got it out of there. It wasn’t attached to anything when I found it but it had definitely been ‘put away’ and ‘left alone’ MANY times and for a LONG TIME.
What makes this old door remarkable (jump number two) (jump one is that it is ‘of’ the Silver Twin’s Place)... is that the construction of the door is ‘insanely’ fine considering what it is (a colonial era rural New England barn door). WIDE... THIN... handmade... locally mill sawn ...again noting ‘thin’ wood thickness for accuracy... White Pine ‘finished lumber’ assembled to be a ‘barn door’ with ...individually handmade one by one-one-at-a-time wrought iron ‘rose head’ Colonial era nails... THERE (at the Silver Twin’s Place. And then “hung” (used as an exterior door) for
Two hundred and fifty years (inclusive of all usage variables including “put away” and “left alone”.
Including I FOUND IT.
A weather beaten gospel according to what?
It is, ‘according to what’, “just there”. That is its pure strain. Designed with drastically difficult material to procure at its construction date (1750-60) with these drastically fine materials then used, this pure strain stays active as its ‘it’ ever after and EVEN AFTER I DRIVE OFF DOWN THE HILL with it in the back of my truck.
With it. It is an old barn door.
Or is it... an it... as one views an oil painting; a composition on a flat surface? Is it a ‘painting’? I ask. When I study the ‘inside’ side and trace the shadow of the long removed ‘original wrought iron hinges’... is that an obsessive painterly detail that only an artist would care about.
And find... to assure
That this old barn door is but an old New England decorative art... I found... as part
Of the Silver Twin’s ...Place...
Old New England Decorative Art?
“Who was the artist?” I’m asked.
“The Silver Twin’s Place”.