Carved Painted Treen Cutting Board with
Bold FYLFOT

Likely Northeast (New England or Pennsylvania), ca. 18th century. Hand-carved stylized lobes, retaining the original red paint with untouched complex surface and tight crazing. Possibly birch or hard yellow pine. Although we don’t know exactly what the fylfot symbolized, we know that it was important, beyond just decorative, and has been seen in both secular and sacred contexts. Research suggests it may represent the sun, energy, rebirth, and/or renewal. The fylfot is often seen on early New England and Pennsylvania decorative arts, and is frequently found on the relief-carved rosettes terminating the split-pediments of 18th century Connecticut furniture. That this cutting board is fully decorated with a fylfot-only speaks to the importance of the symbol at that time. Back side exhibits many knife-marks, so the board was really used for cutting. Very small size of just 10 3/4 inches including the handle x 8 1/2 diameter x 5/8 thick. An intriguing example of early painted treen/woodenware. See Connecticut Valley Furniture, Connecticut Historical Society for a number of fylfots used in 18th century furniture

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