New England, ca. 1750-1780. Maple. In a high-state of preservation, including original imaginative mustard paint decoration on red ground that has the presence of redware. Three spoon rails, all original, the top rail unusual with tiny slots for holding the smallest of spoons. Joinery is with rosehead and T-head nails. Pitsawn backboard. The shape is an appealing variant, with waisted and shouldered backboard and canted transition to a deep well. The freehand mustard paint includes forms that likely represent feathers honoring the Prince of Wales in their former English homeland. Terrific highly patinated surface. Minor period imperfections. One narrow (1 1/2 inch) bottom-well board was replaced in the early 19th century (only viewable from underneath). Impressive, yet not overbearing size, of about 22 1/4 inches tall x 11 3/4 wide x 5 1/2 deep. Discovered 30-40 years ago in New Hampshire by noted dealer/collector Mark Brightman. Many of the years since in a private CT collection of very early material. May be hung, or rested on a chest or mantel. Few true folk art spoon racks have survived.
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