This amazing Mustard Seed box has been in my collection for years but it is now time for a new home. All of the items pictured inside are included with the box and what a colorful and showy piece this will make in any room of your choosing. This is a period correct rendition made by "Marty Travis" who is extremely well versed and specializes in "Shaker" recreations since 1989. Marty has created exquisite Shaker pieces for Museums as well as Oprah Winfrey who is a Shaker collector. Marty only uses the wood from fallen or dead trees on his family farm which dates back to 1830.
"Stickney and Poor's was a competitor of the Shakers. Rufus Stickney and John R. Poor opened up a spice mill in Charlestown in the 1850's. This is the oldest spice company in the nation to date.
The labels are copies of originals that Marty was lucky enough to find and as you can see in images 2, 3 & 4 the graphics are outstanding boasting strong color. A quaint fireplace scene with a man and a woman dressed in period clothing await supper by the open hearth. They are sitting down and conversing about the events of the day while a large piece of meat is hung over the crane and what a tasty entrée that will be. A box of Stickney and Poor's mustard stands ready on the mantle shown on the far right. Soft pink flowers border the left as well as the right of this cozy scene.
This label does have several areas of puffed creases running in a horizontal direction which is a common age related occurrence as this piece is 26 years old. It is also signed and dated as shown in images 7 & 18. This box was crafted in 1991 and was the 33rd piece he meticulously fashioned. The front label is free from any creases and the scattered wear is limited to the outermost edges as reflected in image 3 & 4. Each box was dovetailed on each corner in keeping to tradition and so are the leather hinges located in the back as shown in images 8 & 10.
The wood has a pleasing red wash that lends warm authentic character producing grand results! Image 12 reflects a small area on the top in the upper left hand corner where the color is lighter. There are also two places, on the back inside edge and the front inside edge where there are indentations in the wood with some paint loss as referenced in images 15 & 16. The back shows areas that are lighter than the rest of the overall golden color hue. There are a couple hairline cracks located on the back and are visible inside the box as well. This box is in good overall condition and displays beautifully!
I added excelsior inside along with aged cheesecloth laid on top (see image 14) and then started to get creative. Gourds, interesting pods, dried slitted limes and tangerines along with an ear of corn, kiwi and orange slices grace the inside lending color and texture. Two old tin fluted tart tins hold early dried peas accented with an acorn branch and anise. An antique nutmeg grater was chosen because of the dark color and character it adds to the vast array of botanical contents as referenced in image 1.
This unusual display will pose so many decorating possibilities in your home and will act as a focal point placed on either a bucket bench, on top of a Pie Safe or even on your kitchen counter with the lid leaning up against the backsplash. Another possibility is to display this box in the middle of a farmhouse table left open and the lid can be supported by adding something tall behind it. This piece promises to add color and excitement to your homestead as soon as you receive it! Enjoy!
Box measures 15" across the front (right to left), stands 4 1/4" high & is 8 1/4" deep. Wood used measures 1/4" thickness.
~Freight (Standard Mail) included, however Insurance is optional and can be purchased for an additional $2.75 @ checkout ~ within the continental U.S.