Wednesday, October 22, 2008



ISF 3:00 10/22/2008

N.52.569Ok so looks like a NYSHA collection item from 1952 five hundred and sixty-ninth object? Hope I have that correct. It seems to have a baby’s toy here or recreation device. It is listed as a jumping chair. You have a plank attached to what looks like a chair base with four spindles coming out of it that connect with a ring at the top that would be used to enclose the child. To of the spindles look hand turned as the have sort of oval shapes in the center. The other three seem to be hand carved pegs. They are of various thickness.

The plank goes down to a spring that it is connected to by a horse head on the top that is fixed to the top of the wood by a series of screws. They look machine made from the head but there is one of the threading so I am unsure.

The head has a metal base that protrudes past the end of the plank and there is a lip of metal that has a bolt that has an eye hole on the bottom that is connected to a spring underneath. The spring is attached to a bracket that is affixed to two planks that are radiating out from it at about a 35-45 degree angle. There is a thin plank that connects the other radiating planks that has another bracket that has feet connecting it to the upper bouncy plank. Back to the spring: the bolt that has the eye running through it is fastened with a wing nut. How old are wing nuts?The wood has a light brown stain. The grain is even and there aren’t those wavy patterns you would see in pine.

The angles and shaping of the wood seem to be having done by hand tools? They seem to lack a consistency. I don’t see any sign of the sanding marks we saw in class.

The ring that would have held the child in is grooved at the base that looks hand carved. The ring seems to be out of a plank with a circle cut in the center. It is warped or perhaps it has been cut or shaped unevenly?

I think the outer edges have been carved against the grain. I seem to be able to see wave shaped lines and some horizontal markings as you would see at the end of a 2 x 4.

I wish I knew more about metal because I think that may tell me more about the age. Dangerous children’s toys have been a staple up to the 1950’s.

Some of the metal hardware, bolts and screws could have been made in a machine but the horse head an I-bolt look like they were certainly hand made. There is at once delicacy but generalness to the horse shape that suggests a hand touch. It lacks the kind of exactness you would find in a factory.The springs individual coils seem to vary in thickness and the metal brackets also look like the vary at the bases, lacking uniformity. I think this was made out of WTF wood around WTF time. It looks like it is for an infant of maybe 8 months or older.

The care given to the needed metal mechanism must suggest that this was not a toy that a common person would have. Someone spent a good deal of time fashioning the horse head, spring and various metal parts.

The wooden “safety” ring at the top also is very impressive. It is clearly meant to keep the little one at bay so Mom can rest as it joyfully bops up and down via the spring. It is one tight spring and you would need a healthy baby to make that thing jump.I think this is a toy of a well to do family that has the notion of play for its child. This must be mid 19th century and reflects a care for the very young and a realization that providing amusement while giving mom a free hand is a good thing. Mid to late 19th century would feed into the labor saving craze Mom would need. Instead of baby on hip, she bounces joyfully as Mom works her labor saving washing machine or handles her new hot irons…


Fenimore-one hundred seventy-six forty eighth item.

First thing I notice is what an odd shape. Looks like a wooden canteen or hand bag. The top seems to be all one piece. The wood has beautiful sweeping waves and those oval eyes on the lid. The little valley in the top has a groove that runs in it and it is like little fingers on either end or a carved half tube or bracket that some hand wove chord runs through. This is a darker brown than the jumpy toy.

When worked apart the stain is almost black and it looks as though a chisel was used to carve out the interior shapes of carrier.Inside was a piece of yellowing paper (wood pulp?) That says under arm pouch. I wonder if they burnt out the interior with hot stones or with burning sticks. This was done with Native American Canoes and bowls.

The bottom piece is perhaps a different kind of wood? The graining looks like etching and it doesn’t have the same swirls. The stain seems lighter but I wonder if that is the different kind of wood taking the stain in a different fashion?

The woods I could find to compare with were things like rosewood or mahogony but they don't make sense for a utilitarian item like this, although that may put in in the 18th century. It could be maple because it does have some of that burl look to it.The chord is affixed at the bottom by four holes, 2 on either side with the chord looping through one side, and another side has a loop of fiber that the chord is connected to.I think this may be an item of a man? It seems masculine in its creation and lacks the softness that a woman would want in a carrier? I think it could be for tobacco or powder for a gun? Probably designed to keep something dry. If this is authentic I would expect it to be something a hunter or someone out in the wilderness would use so maybe late 18th century?

Some New Looks at Wood

So I was going to begin this entire project with looking at the dresser I have owned since childhood. Interesting that I am finishing, rather than starting it with it. But that is me: Mr. Un conventional.
So I am going to NOT start with the childhood dresser but a 21st century piece of furniture in a classic Mission style.
So I will begin with the wood on top. Looks to be oak. It is very heavy and has a broad distinct grain. Looking closer under the loop you can almost see the pours of the wood. This is all made with machine and they would have used router to place the grooves in the faces and it looks to be machine sanded.Looking inside at the drawers we can see that of course they are not stained. I can put mu nail into it with some ease. The regular vertical lines, the softness tell me this must be pine. The joint is a dido or lap. Even in the back it lacks any dove tailing and it is reinforced with some cheap little nails that look to be shot in with a nail gun at angels.Looking at the thin piece on the back, it is white, and soft and marks easily. It also looks to be pine.

The Wardrobe

Cedar is of course supposed to keep your linens safe. Moths were never a big problem in Florida, and very few things were made of wool.

The top is constructed of tounge and groove but is beginning to come apart.

This wardrobe is one of those pieces of furniture that is inherited and you never know what to do with. t was supposedly hand made by my wife's great grandfather. A favorite tale is that it once held a jar of Buffalo Head Nickels that an unscrupulous in-law was purported to have stolen that created a family rift.The outside seems to be knotty pine. You can clearly see the knots over the entire thing. This lets you know that this is not ancient or old wood pine because no one would have wanted the knots to show. I think this was made as a wedding present and given to Great Mom in the 40's.On the interior are sheets of Cedar. The smell is still very crisp and the color is still that sort of rich burgundy brown.The top of the wardrobe is constructed with tongue and groove planks. There is a tiered molded look around the top. I would think that judging from the consistency of the grooves around the molding at the top and around the bottom that this was machine milled. The joints are beginning to come apart after so many years of living in non-air-conditioned homes in Florida and then when upgrading to central heat and air, they suffered several moves. We have a mate to this one downstairs that actually is held together with some clothes line at its base because it has cracked up the back. Much of the wood used for this wardrobe is very thin. This is surprising as it makes it delicate by nature. We continue to use it for storage and hope that it will give us a few more years of life!

1 comment:

falkcg said...

In dating the jumper you should remember that until the 20th c. most elite folks had nurses who took care of their kids so mom wouldn't need to find distractions such as this. Perhaps this is a later object that reflects the impending servant crisis?

Remember that a burl is a diseased part of the wood, so not all maple looks swirly like burl. Are there signs the interior was burned out? That would be interesting.