Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Painted White

Painted White

            It is very difficult
            To find and collect
            An object
            That is
            Puritan New England

            This collecting of object is
            Not of an object that is ABOUT Puritan New England but is...
            An object that IS Puritan New England.

            Yes:  THAT clears THAT up.  Doesn’t it.
            And then “old”; (early) dates:  Sixteen whatever... and keeping both the Middle Ages’ design influence of “Pilgrim Style” AND the “was burned” (primitive English settlement structures ‘burned’ “by them”) (“the Indians”)... at the mind’s eye front...:
            Then back to object.  And dates... relative to ‘settlement’ and the... falling away of the primitive English stock of that ‘early’ (“earlier”) “dirt floor” (object) settlement.  Okay so 1760 is “LATE” and 1740 is “FAIR” and 1720 is five years before English New England settlement was “cleared” of “Indians” and
            1704 was the Deerfield Raid and the resulting
            Deerfield Door to the Deerfield INDIAN HOUSE.  Hatchet marks.  The hole.  The peen nail boards.  The preserved door frame.  The Indian House was torn down in 1848.  They saved the door.  The Indian House Door is a shrine... to this day.

            “DOOR you say.  OLD DOOR”.  Salvaged old door; an Indian door from an Indian “RAID”.  Hatchet chopped hole... or is it tomahawk chopped door hole?  “Belt axe?”.  Is it?
            No... it is not a Puritan door; a ‘godly” door.  Or is it.
            It is a shrine.  One may not collect it.  One may, actually, collect objects about
            This object but I
            No.  I always do look at those (the ‘about objects’)... very closely (scrutinize).  No particular reason for doing that.  Just old school fascination.  I gather.  It is not a Godly door.  It is not a Puritan door.  Or is it?  Anyway... it is a shrine.  I accept that; it IS my heritage concisely.

            NOT MANY ‘much of church goers’ in MY family.  That’s that.  NOT many ever ‘stood’ as shadows of their sins.  No.  Not cold winter mornings walking there.  Standing there.  Kneeling there.  Praying there.  No... and that (not church going) is all covered as early New England history anyway.  No:  They didn’t go to church.  My people did not.  And still don’t.  Walked by the damn buildings.  Damned walking by damn buildings?  Of course... but never show it.  Just stick it on the shirt cuffs and walk by.  “Deacon”.

            Door:  Church door.  The big ones on the front of the building (church)... have long been understood to be outstanding design specimens of early New England.  Their wood.  “Fitted” wood.  Their hardware.  Hand forged wrought iron ‘door’ hardware... preferably of extra effort scale and craftsmanship.  “Prominent Feature”.  “ART”.  But hard to collect.  Too big to ‘take home’ and “hang” in ‘the collection’.  The big hole upon the building from doing that would leave the front of the old New England church... wide open... to have ‘em chasing you down the street... right away
            And anyway...
            Most of those doors are not old enough
            To be Puritan New England...
            Anyway (“too late”).

            So what is a tomahawk mark of the Puritan church... going church?  “Ahhhh....”
“They tore most of those down”.  And built a better one (church buildings).  By the mid seventeen hundreds the old ‘first churches’ were being ‘torn down’ to build ‘better ones’ (the ones with the grand front doors).  “Meeting House”; yes THAT’S the old WORDS for it.  Understand that the old ones were the first ones near the first settlements and those ‘first ones’ then were the first ones to build the new ones and
            Tear down the first ones;
            The ‘old’ meeting house.
            Many (“some”) survived and are... mostly... “painted white”.  That is not the way they were at first (‘painted white’).  I remind... like... who had any white paint
            Was the white paint a sort of commemorative paint job?  That argument could be pushed.  I’m not.  I know the difference.  The difference?  Early Colonial New England meeting houses that have NOT been painted white are... ‘very rare’.  And... the INTERIOR of the early meeting house that has ...NEVER BEEN PAINTED (white) is...
            Very Rare.  Don’t trust me.  Go look for yourself.  White paint... covers up the shadow of sin that the early New England meeting house... that was the ‘before’ the fine 18th century New England church... was
            Torn down.
            Or preserved; ‘painted white’.
            It is very hard to collect a Puritan New England object that has not been
            Painted white. 

            I did... I do.  Collect.  Puritan New England... that has not been painted white.  Not that I “keep”; I am a antiques dealers so ‘don’t ... keep’.  “It’s for sale”.  And when you do not buy it... then please leave it alone.  Puritan New England that has not been painted white does not need a ‘you’ to... bother with it.  Go paint something else white.

  What I offer are two old doors.  They are very old New England doors that have never been painted ANYTHING ever.  No.  They are both old New England first growth White Pine coastal forest wood... and nothing else excepting the natural oxidation coloring to the finished wood surface.  Only that for two hundred and fifty years (1750) (at least).  Okay... “earlier”; 1740.  Anyway... they are old ‘never painted’ ‘doors’.
            They are meeting house pew box doors.  Or:  They are old doors to meeting house pew boxes.  Doors... to a ‘box’ in a meeting house.  A meeting house ‘sold’ (at auction) pew boxes in the meeting house.  Each pew box had a door.  That opened and closed access to the pew box.  For the owner.  When the meeting house was built, the pew box doors were ‘hung’.  When the meeting house was torn down, the pew box doors were... torn down too.  And ‘pitched out’.  If the meeting house ‘survived’, it was, most often, painted white.  The pew boxes and their door ‘were too’ painted white.  But going back to the moment of ‘pitched out’... did they; someone... “from the family” “TAKE THE DOOR” to their pew box... take it home and ‘keep it’.  That could have happened... couldn’t it?  Yes.
            Where... did they put it?  Oh how about ‘upstairs’ in ‘the shed’.  “THAT’S A GOOD PLACE FOR IT!”  Then they leave it there for two hundred years until the day I am up there... in the old garrets... and spy it and... purloin it... with very little fanfare I assure you.  And it (the old pew box door)... is never painted
            The Old Indian House Door was never painted white either.  “NEAT!”

            Puritan New England early meeting house pew box doors.  Never painted.  Original as intended plain New England White Pine Coastal Forest ‘wood’ with a naturally oxidized surface.  Looking for details?
            My eye amplifies the oxidation surface shadow of the once present now removed ‘butterfly’ iron hinges (that ‘hung’ the door) inclusive of their ‘took those too’ handmade rose head nail holes.  One door had a lock.  Now removed.  One ‘locked’ their pew box?  One could and did.  KEEP them OUT.
            One door has its top rail.. for the human hand.  The other door has lost its.  No matter.  BOTH have a single wide pine wood beveled panel “FRAMED” with mortised and pegged.... thumbnail molded... BELOW the open ‘gate’ that includes, on each, two lathe turned maple ‘spindle decoration’.  Those are an absolute last gasp of old English Pilgrim Style:  An absolute last gasp that screams the object title:  “Pew Box Door”.  “THAT’S HOW YOU KNOW”
            When you see it (the spindles in the open ‘gate’).
            Denote that ‘old door’ up in the old garret when your ‘looking around’
            For something that IS Puritan New England
            And not ‘painted white’.

            (“Puritans didn’t paint?”)

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