This interesting, controversial broom really had me scratching my head as to whether this piece may have Shaker roots or not. After doing some research and contacting some fellow dealer friends, we concluded this brush is of the Shaker style but is not Shaker. Apparently the Shakers never had fireplaces only stoves therefore they would not have had the inclination to make a hearth broom. Mystery solved!
What I can tell you is this is actually a brush that was used to sweep left over ashes from the hearth. A larger broom would have been chosen to clean out most of the ashes and remnants of wood. This piece was used as a final clean up hearth tool. It dates to around the civil war era and the brush end was fashioned from horsehair.
The slightly tapered handle has very fine detail located at the top as shown in images 6 & 7 and also has turnings down toward the brush end as referenced in image 2. The handle does have wooden threads and does unscrew from the wooden brush counterpart. Scribe marks are also visible on the wooden part of the brush as shown in image 3. Picture number 7 was taken with less light and does show the gorgeous patina and precise turnings in the wood. There are areas of appropriate paint loss at the end of the handle as this piece was held tightly to sweep ashes.
Some of the horsehair is missing as referenced in images 4 & 8. However if you turn the broom around this piece still displays very well. Great unusual broom that will add plenty of primitive charm to your hearth and would be a splendid addition to your collection. Enjoy!
The broom stands 20 1/4" Tall (top of handle to the bottom of the horsehair), measures 5 3/4" across @ the widest point (length of wooden piece where the horsehair was placed and the handle itself is around 3/4" wide.
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