Breadboards are ever so popular as they really have become a primitive staple for our butteries, pantries and farmhouse tables. There are so many shapes and sizes to choose from that it is only fitting when they can be stacked in graduated sizes against a wall with a sensational outcome!
This tombstone breadboard not only has great primitive appeal but has the most wonderful traces of chocolate brown paint as well! This gathering includes the breadboard, little dried carrots, a Chestnut knife and an old Herb Doctor Booklet.
There are no visible chop marks present on the painted side of the board but there are some light chop marks on the reverse. This board apparently was not used very much and is in very good condition with out any cracks or chips to report. The surface wear on the painted side could not be any better and is "honest & true".
This piece dates to around the turn of the century, possibly earlier. The back has a nice warm patina with an interesting vertical grain in the wood. The corners at the bottom are round and the form of this board is simple but effective especially shown in front of your other larger breadboard collections.
I chose a wonderful Chestnut knife that dates from 1906 to 1908 to pair up with this board. This knife was used to score the chestnut prior to roasting. By carving a line, with a cross or an "X" into the shell this would allow the nut to breathe during the roasting period so it would not explode when the steam builds up.
The chestnut knife has a short shaft in order to keep the precision cut confined to the shell without piercing the inner skin. After the chestnuts are done roasting, the knife can then be used to open the shell and remove the meat inside.
This knife has a carbon steel blade and is marked "R. Murphy Ayer, MA." and this company still exists today. The wooden handle has the prefect amount of surface wear as the middle is lighter in color which in turn justifies where it would be grasped after all these years when in use. The bottom of the handle sports remains of oyster paint but is limited to this area only. Very interesting shaped knife that compliments this breadboard very nicely.
I dried some "early carrots" that I thought would be nice to pair up with this breadboard. The small size of this bunch is a nice fit for this breadboard. The carrots can either be placed directly on the board or you can hang them from the hole at the top of the board, as I left plenty of string to do so. This really lends such a neat "Root Cellar" feel to the overall breadboard gathering and would look awesome in your Buttery!
Lastly I am including a little companion book entitled "The Herb Doctor and Medicine Man", A collection of Valuable Medicinal Formulae & Guide to the Manufacture of Botanical Medicines. This booklet has no date but I believe it is around the turn of the century, possibly earlier and is in fine condition. All pages are accounted for and have a nice aged appearance to the paper. The front cover boasts a bucolic setting with trees and a stream flowing off the page. Very interesting read with plenty of quackery tales regarding how to treat certain ailments though some of these cures may be true.
This interesting gathering has plenty to offer and would make a nice vignette in your pantry, laid on a farmhouse table or anywhere of your choosing in that wonderful home of yours! Enjoy!
The Breadboard stands almost 15" Tall, 8 1/4" Across & almost 3/4" Thick. The small Dried Carrot bunch is 4" Tall by 2 1/2" across the widest point. The Chestnut Old Knife is 7 1/2" Long by 1 1/4" Wide. Lastly, the Herb Doctor booklet is 6 1/2" Tall by 2 3/4" across.