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Mantel

Decorative Arts and Design

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Mantel

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Unknown Maker, Salem, North Carolina

Date

ca. 1830

Medium

Painted yellow pine

Accession #

1997.199

Dimensions

55 3/4 x 86 1/2 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

This mantel came from the home of a descendant of one of the first Moravian settlers in Salem, North Carolina. It is decorated with painted marbling, achieved by the painter’s application of subtle variations in patterns—a technique that provided a less costly way to produce the effect of the expensive stone. Before the Civil War, paints had to be prepared as needed by a difficult, often dangerous, and complicated process that was closely guarded by professionals. Thus this mantel was probably painted by one of the itinerant decorative painters who traveled the around country looking for work rather than by an amateur.

Credit

Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment

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