We are offering a mangle board dating from the late 18th century. It is a wonderful piece of Scandinavian folk art, probably originating in Sweden or Denmark. It is beautifully carved and decorated including a very rare and desirable double horse head handle. Along the length of the board there are four chip carved pinwheel designs and a number of incised hearts. The stylized horse is well done with chip carved elements along the heads and the legs. Along the length of the board and on the horse, there are remnants of early paint that appear to be very dark green and red with accents of yellow all underneath a heavy layer of varnish, all original to the board. In front of the horse heads there is a section of paint that contains some writing which was probably either a date or initials. Unfortunately, that is now illegible. The board has the usual insect holes that always appears in these early pieces. There are no signs of activity in the holes. Somebody, at one time, did some stabilizing work on the underside of the board. This consists of a thin veneer of dark oak affixed to the length of the bottom of the board along with a section at one corner on the end opposite the horse that has some sort of a wood filler. These repairs were probably an attempt to cover over a section of wood that was damaged in some way. The repair is well done and blends in nicely with the appearance of the board. It is not noticeable unless the board is turned upside down. Since it would never be displayed in that way, this should not be a problem.
The board is nicely sized for display measuring 24 ½ inches long and a maximum of 4 ½ inches wide. The board is 7/8 inches thick. The horse handle is 11 ½ inches long, is 3 inches tall, and is about 1 ¾ inches wide across the horse heads. The handle is attached to the board with a sliding dovetail that is still tight. The overall look of the board is wonderful. 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. The board does have a wall hanger hook located on the underside directly behind the horse. We have applied a layer of museum quality conservator’s wax to the whole piece to preserve the surface and bring out the subtler aspects of the carvings and paint. This is the kind of mangle board that would be highly sought after in a collector’s auction.
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.
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