This is a piece of Norwegian folk art, a rosemaling decorated ale bowl, or Ølbolle, done in the Telemark style. Early rosemaling decorated ale bowls are extremely desirable and very hard to come by. You do not want to pass up this opportunity if you are a collector of Norwegian folk art. This bowl measures about 10 to 10 ½ inches in diameter and has a total height of 4 inches. The bowl has experienced substantial shrinkage over the years so that it is no longer totally round. It has a 1 ¼ inch vertical rim with 3 concentric raised ridges running along the outside, There is a 5 inch diameter turned foot for the base. Chisel work along the outside adds interesting texture, not commonly found in ale bowls. There are two initials carved into the underside of the base. They are either "I H" or "H I". The interior of the bowl is painted with traditional colors using classic Telemark flowing floral designs and swirls. As is obvious in the photos, the piece is far from pristine. There is quite a bit of paint loss both on the inside and outside. In addition, there are two splits that run from opposing sides down towards the center following grain lines in the wood. One of the splits has an early repair where pieces of sheet metal was attached on the inside and outside to prevent the split from separating any further. These metal repairs were painted to be consistent with the look of the piece. There is early Norwegian script painted in black around the upper outside edge. We have been unable to decipher what it says, but know that there is a set of initials along with the date 1868. Ale bowls frequently have quaint sayings around the edge, and this piece is no exception. The bowl has seen a hard life but deserves to be preserved and cherished. Most likely it was an heirloom that came with a Norwegian family to the New World many years ago. Sometime in the past it has been separated from its heritage, but it still retains the qualities of a wonderful piece of folk art and should be preserved. If you are looking for a piece with honest wear, then you do not want to pass this up. This is a great entry-level piece for anybody who wishes to start a collection of Norwegian rosemaling decorated folk art.
If you are a collector of Norwegian or Scandinavian folk art (bondeantikviteter), then this bowl will be a nice and interesting addition to your collection. You can buy with confidence from Sweetpea Cottage. We stand behind everything that we sell. If you wish to return your purchase for any reason, simply notify us by email of your intentions within 3 days of receiving the item. We then ask that you return it to us in its original condition within 6 days. At that time we will refund the full purchase price minus any shipping charges. We will not be able to ship this item to an international address.
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