This hand made, sturdy wooden dust pan was painted black and then decorated in the center of the pan with folk art tole painting. The pair of blush pink flowers, peonies perhaps, with their scalloped green leaves are beautifully hand painted. The thick, curved handle has a hole drilled near the upper end, so it can be hung decoratively when not in use. The high sides were a clever design to catch all the debris and the bottom edge has a hard rubber strip firmly affixed to guide the crumbs. We think the dustpan was made in the 1950's.
The genuine horsehair brush is a marriage, maybe made in heaven but definitely one of convenience, paired together in the past. It's not a dust brush but is called a drafting brush, meant for the easy removal of eraser shavings, dust and dirt from drawings and/or drafting surfaces without smudging. It was made (and marked) by William Dixon and Co., established in 1857 in Newark, New Jersey. We've included a photo of the factory floor, taken in 1891. This brush was made a bit later, probably in the 1920's or 1930's. Based on a classic Shaker design, it's nicely turned of maple with tiger striped grain on the handle. Brushes like this are still being made, labeled "traditional design." The marks stamped into the brush include "Dixon" followed by "#883" and "Made in U.S.A." The other side is stamped "STERILIZED," referring no doubt to the horse hair.
Both the dustpan and brush are in excellent condition; in fact, the dustpan might never have been used for its intended purpose. It may have been hard for the tole painter to imagine dust and dirt covering those lovely flowers. The wood of the brush has nicks and scratches and a small triangle-shaped piece missing from the upper edge, but the wear is attractive; the horse hair seems all there. The dustpan measures 12 inches wide at the bottom edge and 9 1/2 inches from top to bottom. The 1 1/4 inch wide handle is 6 inches long and the piece weighs 1 pound 2 ounces. The brush is 13 inches long, the horse hair 2 1/2 inches in length and the brush weighs about 1/4 pound. Displayed together or apart, they're both interesting vintage pieces and actually usable, if you must.
>>>Photo credit: "Newark, N. J. illustrated : a souvenir of the City and its numerous industries" Courtesy, Smithsonian Libraries