Do you just adore Pennsylvania Dutch folk art? If so this next gathering may be of interest to you. A lonely desk or candlestand is all that this gathering is asking for to call home and I am sure you will be very pleased with the results! You will receive the Ledger book, hand fashioned bird pen wipe, old spectacles and a stoneware inkwell that holds a feather quill.
Dutch influence “lives long and prospers” here in Pennsylvania therefore I created an interesting “Debit and Credit” book that one may have placed near a writing desk back in the day. The cover of the book was reproduced, aged and attached to the front of a “McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader” dated “1879”. I chose this book of the color along with the worn pages that extend out from the cover as shown in image 15. After all the “leidger” (German spelling) page on the front is dated “1789” so I wanted to honor this period using a book that looked as old as possible.
If you look closely at this exceptional work of art depicting an array of stylized and vibrant flowers along with fancy letters held captive by mustard and cornflower blue colored vines, one can only appreciate the creative talent that belonged to the owner. Another feather quill is attached to the front cover, off to the left, using two toned twisted yarn that was wrapped all the way around, next to the spine.
When I opened up the pages to photograph this book, an exciting piece of paper fell onto the floor. Upon opening this well preserved piece, I found a nice surprise! A little girl took the time to pencil in her thoughts by way of a pictorial landscape scene. Though naïve, this scene captures enough interest to visualize a “happy place” possibly a forest with a squirrel eating a nut on top of a log with a pair of birds resting on the branches along with a dog nearby running in play. Two rabbits sitting under a tree that provides shade on this sunny “morn” are pictured off to the right, while a couple of deer can be seen coming down from the hill, off to the left, as shown in image 19 and 20 respectively. A vast array of birds are flying into this valley with the sun rising off to the left. This interesting drawing that has the initials of “R.D.L.” on the back, possibly the creator…..will also be included with the book.
Image 7 shows one of the owners names written on the first page using a fountain pen and also show imaginative illustrations pertaining to the story written below. Several other names are also written on the inside back cover along with dates. There is separation in the middle of the book as referenced in image 17 but this age related occurrence gives us insight as to how this book was bound using string. All the pages seem to be accounted for but some have several small rips along with page discoloration that is expected. Some of the pages are also loose as they have come apart from the spine. This book still shows well and makes for a beautiful display!
I felt compelled to include a “make~do” figural bird pen wipe being mindful to use traditional felt that was fashioned using three layers under the bird which is period correct for early pen wipes used in the 19th century. These were created for fountain pens that can become clogged with ink buildup at the metal point therefore when the felt on the pen wipe was lifted to reveal the next layer, the point could be dragged across this area to clean it. The bird told me he wanted to be fancy so I added some detailed needlework using complimentary colors by way of old wool thread. I believe he is happy with the results….. though the other side is plain.
Of course, every ledger insists on a stoneware inkwell along with a pen placed nearby and I was not going to argue the point! The inkwell is old and the “make~do” pen (does not write) was crafted from a turkey feather and wrapped with aged string at the bottom (quill) area. The inkwell is in good overall condition and boasts a luscious tan ground with intermittent dark brown speckles throughout. There is a small area on the bottom edge that reveals two slight chips and another area shows an extra piece of unglazed clay that attached itself during the firing process. This inkwell is free of cracks!
Of course a book keeper needs reading glasses to keep the books accurate so I chose a unique pair of early wire rimmed spectacles that possess a bifocal feature in keeping with the theme. The glass spectacles are in wonderful condition without any chips or cracks to report.
This interesting gathering will add warmth and charm to any small nook in your home without delay! The Pennsylvania Dutch are known for their artistic abilities that include color, inherent symbolism qualities along with evoking magical traits of whimsical charm to various works created. It is just a pleasure to own such stunning works of art that will hold high regard in our homes! Enjoy!
Ledger Book measures 7 ¼” tall (vertical position), measures 5” across (left to right) and is ¾” thick. Feather quill attached to book stands 4 ¾” tall and measures 1” across @ the widest point. Pen Wipe measures 3 ½” across (right to left), stands almost 2” tall @ the tallest point (head of bird), and measures 1 ¾” deep. Bird measures 4” across (right to left) and is ½” thick. Spectacles measure 4 ½” across the glass front area, and each wire arm measure 5”. Stoneware inkwell stands 1 ¾” tall, measures 1 ¾” across the top (right to left), opening is ½” and the bottom measures 1 ¾” across (right to left). Feather quill stands 9” tall and measures 1 ¼” across.