American, likely Pennsylvania, ca. 3rd quarter, 19th century. Appears to be walnut. Original, remarkable, bold, fanciful decoration by a skilled ornamental painter who likely painted game boards and signs. As with other imaginative and innovative works of art, this piece has significance as being an original creation, not a copy of other works, and a contrast to the subdued color palettes typical of that period, i.e., avant-garde, edgy, and beautiful. Solid, sturdy construction with thumbnail molding about the perimeter, the pegs firmly tenoned through the backboard. Excellent condition with appropriate wear on the pegs. Note diminutive size of just 19 1/4 inches long x 2 3/4 tall with pegs depth of 4 1/2 inches. May have been used for hanging clothing or textiles, and perhaps even as a "gameboard for rings". Provenance: Virginia Pope Cave, David Schorsch, private Connecticut collection..
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