New England, ca. 18th century. One of my favorite and most unexpected objects I have been fortunate to represent. Hardwood (likely maple) in rich dark patina, retaining traces of period gray paint. Carved from the crotch of a tree, carefully chosen for its branching that flares sturdily and evenly. Each branch is hewn with tool marks readily visible (the subtleties difficult to show in photography), the back branch hewn-to-flatness to enable it to be used as a hanger. Likely used to dry candles dipped in beeswax or animal fats, the spread of the branches preventing sticking. An impressive 17 inches tall x 11 wide x 4 1/2 deep. The combination of form, tooling, patina, and paint create a remarkable visual that is not only unique yet also amplified by the shadows it casts.
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