Monday, October 14, 2013

Treenware at the MET

This weekend Alyssa and I were lucky enough to be in NYC and had a wonderful date at the MET.  Wandering through the "visible storage" section, full of just amazing works of furniture and carved chests, I came across a very small display of treenware.  Several turned bowls, and two spoons.  Two objects caught my eye.  The small bowl/porringer below seemed to bare the marks of treadle lathe turning.  The long, thin handle made it feel more like a scoop than a bowl.  As the stem joined the bowl below the rim and the bottom of the stem angled up slightly, I imagine it would not have been bad to hold, cupping the bowl in your palm and bringing your thumb over the top of the stem.  Still, not much to hold onto.  Maybe 6" across and 2.5" tall.  Dates from somewhere between 1700 and 1900.
You can also see small 6" plates on display on the lower shelf.

You can also see a large burlwood bowl in the background with a crack in the rim, also turned.  

There was also a small spoon on display, maybe 7" long, that caught my eye.  The handle met the bowl in a very simple way, with no curve when seen from above.  The maker did not have to deal with changing grain direction.  These in a way look like some of the English spoon designs I have seen--certainly not Scandinavian.  The rim of the bowl was flat. I tend to make mine with a bit of a curve to the rim to let the upper lip easily contact the bottom of the bowl.  The spoon was also generally dated as from between 1700 and 1900.

The small scoop behind the spoon was made of bone or something.  The larger spoon to the left was less interesting.

I think what was amazng for me was to see how little woodware was on display, compared to the ceramics and metalwork.  It really illustrated to me how rare historical examples of woodware is.

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