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Norske chest

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (1 item)

    This rosemaling chest was found at the beginning of August this year in the Hardangerfjord area in west Norway near our house, at a village community rummage store. We had a very traumatic year leading up to this year's trip and had very little money. Towards the end of September we were due to leave for home in the UK and called at the store (only open on Saturdays ) and the chest was still there with a reduced price tag. I offered one of the volunteer ladies an even smaller figure and after her attempts to sell me a nearly new Ikea Ottoman for even less, she reluctantly accepted my offer. My wife almost fainted at the audacity but helped the volunteer lady to lug it to our car as I am still recovering from a smashed femur and pelvis. We applied a liberal but careful coat of timber preservative and you can see how bright the colour now appears. The rosemaling decoration appears newer than the chest as in some places the wood had been damaged previously and subsequently worn smooth before being over-painted. The intriguing question for me concerns the apparent re-cycling of the chest as one of the (marriage?) partners names has been over-painted in white and then new initials added along with the the decade being altered, all in a different handwriting to the original inscription. Has anyone come across this before? Incidentally, we have left the chest in our Norwegian house, feeling that it will be more at home there and well away from any heating whilst we are in the UK.

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    1. Jewels Jewels, 7 years ago
      This is really charming! Thanks for sharing it
    2. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      I love this check! Are you sure it's Norweigan? It's very similar to 'kurbits' paintings on chests from Dalarna Sweden. Great piece either way ofcourse!
    3. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      Ment to write chest ofcourse! Mobiles are so annoying!
    4. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
    5. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      This is just an exemple of kurbitspatterns. There are many different kinds.
      The type of chest that you have is called 'brudkista' here. Girls would fill them with linnen and things over the ears so that she would have things when she finally got married. But I think this could also be a wedding gift from the husband to be. Your chest is lovely!
    6. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      I ment to write 'over the years'.
      One more thing, the painting inside looks completly different and not like kurbits. Very intriging!
    7. markhus, 7 years ago
      Thanks Elizabethan, I can understand that it looks Swedish as rosemaling travelled from Sweden to the west coast Norway but detailed aspects of the painting say it is Telemark in style and probably later than the skanskap shown. Incidentally I make Hardanger fiddles and still use similar designs in pen and ink.
    8. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      That's interesting Markhus! It's a very beautiful piece! I'm also happy everytime I hear about craftmanship like yours! Honor to you!
    9. markhus, 7 years ago
      Hi Elisabethan,
      Great to know that you understand the term Hardanger fiddle!
      One of the renowned players of these 8 or 9 string fiddles is a Swedish guy who is a silver smith in Setesdal, just west of Telemark region.
    10. markhus, 7 years ago
      Thanks CindB, I hope your comment relates to the chest!
    11. markhus, 7 years ago
      Hi CindB,
      I'm speculating, but the date of 1867 would sit right in the period of the Civil War and was a time of tragically short lives. I wonder if the alterations to the initials and date indicate a re-marriage as 1860 was roughly when rosemaling died out as 'a la mode' in West Norway.
    12. markhus, 7 years ago
      Hi Elisabethan,
      The interior of the chest lid is completely different in style of painting and quite naive, looking like the paint is applied with a cloth by stippling and a few strokes applied with a stick rather than a brush. Obviously we have more photos than can be posted on CW site.
    13. creilly69, 5 years ago
      Your Chest is gorgeous!

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