This folk art painted Dutch wooden spoon rack is a one of a kind antique. Hand carved of pine and retaining its original surfaces, it dates from about 1750, possibly crafted by a loving husband for his wife to display her prized spoons. The painted flowers are dominant, with dark red petals edged in white and green leaves. The edges of the board were painted yellow, no doubt to imitate costly gilding. The sides and front are painted a mottled reddish brown, while the back is the same but has no decoration.
The bars that hold the spoons have a kind of grain painting along the fronts and sides. All their other surfaces are the same reddish brown. Below the lowest bar, the bottom is scalloped and has a nicely painted design. The overall measurements are 16 inches from the point at the top to the very bottom and about 6 inches across. The bars are 10 inches long and each has 4 holes; the racks were meant to hold a dozen spoons, so when there are three bars, they each have 4 holes, as this one does. The bars are fastened with wooden pegs, not nails, on the back of the board; the pegs have tightened in place, holding on far longer than nails would have. The rack weighs a little over a pound, without the spoons, and has a hole for hanging carved at the top that's circled in yellow paint.
The six pewter spoons are also Dutch and are a matched set. Each has the same touch mark in the round bowl, a crowned sphere with back to back capital letter B's (see our photograph # 8). There are also the initials D and B engraved in the bowl of each one; since these spoons, and often the rack also, were given as wedding presents, the D and B may be the initials of the bride and groom. The narrow straight handles are squared off at the tips and have a lovely engraved design running down the length of them. They are joined to the bowl with a rib on the back called a rat tail (see photograph # 7). Each spoon is about 5 3/4 inches long; since they're hand made, each differs just slightly. The spoons date from about the same time frame as the rack.
The condition is very good for both the rack and the spoons. The bottom bar of the rack has a crack on the right corner and there are some white paint spatters (the bane of our existence), a few on the back and some on the upper right notched edge, fortunately not noticeable, especially when the rack is on the wall. It's possible that there was a strip of molding at the peaked top, as there is a faint outline in the paint. The paint is alligatored and crusty--that "grungy" surface the appraisers on Antiques Roadshow hold so dear. The spoons are not shiny, because we chose to leave them as found; all the engraving shows wear, but the spoons look great, with no cracks or chips.
For those who appreciate folk art and antiques with a history, this is a very special find.