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PILGRIM CENTURY Carved Weaver's Tape Loom
Massachusetts, North Shore Boston, Essex-area, ca. 1680-1710. The rare opportunity to acquire a three-centuries old artifact from early Colonial America made generations prior to the Revolution. WHITE OAK with rich original patina. Carved sunburst crest joined by tiny wooden pegs to the working slats; the base of the slats chip-carved. Pilgrim century furniture and utilitarian objects were typically rectilinear and made of American white oak, emulating the then preferred wood in colonists' English homeland. In the late 17th century, designs began to evolve to more fluid lines while abandoning white oak (which was in great demand for ship building) in favor of walnut, birch, maple, and other local woods that gave a lighter appearance. Tape looms were used by weavers who held the looms between their knees as they worked, producing thin strips of woven fabric called "tapes", plain or patterned, that had a multitude of uses from binding clothing to sacks. Given the time frame and location, this tape loom could have had association with the near at hand Salem Witch Trials in 1692-1693. About 25 inches tall x 11 wide x 1/2 thick. Remarkable original condition with just minor loss on the back. References: Historic New England, The Nina Fletcher Little Collection at Cogswell's Grant, Essex, Mass, accession # 1991.435; The Putnam Family (John Putnam being a witness to the Salem Witch Trials), Northeast Auctions, The Monahan Collection, August 2001 to Bill Samaha; and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, accession # 1977.636.
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