This very early mangle board is a wonderful piece of folk art that is beautifully carved and decorated including a stunning horse handle. The board decorations and horse bears a strong resemblance to 18th century mangle boards found on the Maihaugen Museum website located in Lillehammer, Norway. It is substantial in size measuring 28.75 inches long and 4.375 inches wide. The board is 1.125 inches thick. The horse handle is 9.25 inches long, is 3.625 inches tall, and is 1 inches thick. The handle is attached to the board with a well-executed sliding dovetail. There is some evidence that suggests that the horse might have split off long ago and was skillfully reattached. However, it might also have simply split at the hind leg and then been strengthened with early hide glue. The face of the board is decorated with chip carved rectilinear designs along with several rosettes. The design motifs are not typical for most mangle boards which is why it is important to note that similar very early boards can be found in the Maihaugen Museum of Lillehammer to help establish the Norwegian origin. The look of the piece is exceptional. It shows its age well with the usual dings, scratches and flaws that would be expected on a piece of wood that is about 250 years old. There are lots of insect holes that are no longer active. Judging by the weight, density, and grain patterns in the wood it appears to be constructed of birch.
The board does not have a wall hanger hook although there are several recent holes in the back that most likely were used for attaching a hanger at one time. The surface patina on the piece is in exceptional condition. We have had many mangle boards over the years but this board has one of the nicest display looks that we have ever seen.
While originally intended to be used for smoothing sheets and linens, by tradition mangle boards became devices that were hand-carved by men to be given to their brides at the time when they became engaged. It was a sign of honor to have a beautifully carved and/or painted mangle board hanging on your wall. It also helps explain the expression "Beware of the man with many mangle boards."
This is definitely a one-of-a-kind item that will look absolutely wonderful in your home. You can shop with confidence at Sweetpea Cottage. YOUR SATISFACTION IS GUARANTEED. If you wish to return your purchase for any reason we gladly refund your purchase price minus shipping. Within three days of receiving your item, simply notify us by email that you wish to return it. Once we receive it in original condition in a timely fashion, then we will refund the full purchase price. The buyer will be responsible for return shipping. This is a very large and heavy piece. We will not be able to ship this item to our international customers.