The art of rug hooking has a long and much debated history. Even though there is evidence of a form of rug hooking dating back to the time of the Vikings, the origins of “modern”rug hooking was believed to have begun in the early 19th Century when the workers in the weaving mills of Yorkshire England started collecting the short scraps of yarn called thrums. Although useless to the mills, the weavers took these thrums home and began pulling them through stiff woven backings of burlap, linen or rug wrap. The beautiful designs which were created with the hooking technique were limited only by the craftsman’s imagination. Rug hooking became a popular pastime in North America, especially in the New England area, around the same time it became fashionable in England.
Yellow Garage dealer Bob Lutz of Antiques of the Early American Community and Folk Art is featuring an early 20th Century folk art hooked rug. The rug was discovered and purchased from an estate in Newcastle near the Maine coast. The handmade mat measures 38 1/2 inches by 20 inches. At first glance it is striking in both its fine condition and still vibrant colors. The rug maker’s design features a light colored whimsical horse highlighted in contrast by a black background. A brilliant blue sky, clouds and trees further “paint”the outdoor pastoral setting. Lively striped borders on the left and right frame the subject. There is a suggestion of a sparkling stream behind the horse, or perhaps a shading of sky color. This is our interpretation, but it points to the beauty of such a superb folk art piece, for you may see something completely different and equally as charming. The rug is mounted and ready to hang promising to add a touch of color, beauty and American history to your home.
Early 20th Century New England Folk Art Hooked Rug