Likely New Jersey or Hudson River Valley, possibly New England, ca. 18th century. Pine with original paint history of an early, very dry, dark-gray with a hint of blue over perhaps a first black. Deeply carved and chip carved, featuring a large heart in the tombstone-shaped crest flanked by two ears, over three spoon rails, each rail with spoon openings alternating with half-rounds. The spoon rails are pegged into place through the back, with later nails added for reinforcement. Dates scratched into the back are 1705 and 1757, and a faint collection number of #03670. Condition is excellent. A minor crack "hide-glued" on the tenon of the right ear. Two small "slots" cut on either side of the crest would appear to reflect a change of mind by the maker rather than losses, and would have been obscured by the outer-top spoon bowls. Hangs proudly. About 22 inches tall x 8 3/4 wide x 2 1/4 deep at the rails. A superb and scarce example. Given the heart, this spoon-rack was likely gifted on an important occassion such as wedding or birthday. Carved by a skilled maker. A successful 18th century work of art and function.
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