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What a bold and beautiful (not referring to the soap opera if you please), mortar and pestle lending traces of oyster paint. This piece of treen, c.1820 to 1840 exhibits recessed bands done in triplicate that surround the circumference of the body with double bands that appear on the footed base. The impressive full bodied form denotes a substantial piece that is of the larger variety and quite heavy.
The rich patina-ed surface has vestiges of oyster paint (see image 9) that may have been removed at one point in comparison to the top edge where the paint is much stronger as referenced in image 10. Several light scratches (see image 6) appear on the body of the mortar at random but the good news is this piece is free of any cracks which is a rarity! There are no chips to report and the overall condition is very good considering this piece dates to the first quarter of the 19th century.
I am not certain if the pestle counterpart is a marriage or could quite possibly be original. However the color does appear to be close as shown in image 12. The mushroom knob acts as a double duty feature and was used for crushing herbs that would render a somewhat powdered state. The widest area of the handle was used for griping and is smooth to the touch from years of handling.
There are a couple of cracks located near the shoulder where the handle terminates as shown in images 21 & 22. One more tight crack can be found near the bottom edge of the pestle that runs about 2” in an upward direction, also referenced in image 22. Minor wood loss can be found on the center point of the mushroom knob which is lacking the sister patina. Lastly, the bottom of the pestle exhibits three cracks that are age related as shown in image 25. Interestingly enough this pestle can also be referred to as a “Beetle or pounder”.
If you happen to collect mortar and pestles this set will certainly be a worthy and highly coveted addition to your collection as the patina lending whispers of exciting oyster paint just can’t get any better than this! Enjoy!
Overall height is 11 ½” (including the “resting” pestle), mortar stands just under 8” tall, measures 6” across the top opening and measures 5 ½” across the bottom. Pestle stands 11” tall measures a little over 1” across the top mushroom knob and measures 2 ¾” across the bottom.
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