is always open!
This ever changing gallery features material currently available for purchase. Click on any image for a closer look. Once you find just what you’re looking for email us at MoPlainFolk@gmail.com for more information and extra pictures if you like. We’ll do our best to make it happen!
(Sold) Some of our favorite colors come directly from things in nature. Mustard is a perfect example. In seed form or ground, mustard is considered a spice. That is an appropriate conclusion considering this 19th century New England mortar and pestle in original 'spicy' mustard paint. The mortar stands 7 3/4" and is 5"+ in overall diameter. Height with the original pestle in the upright position reaches 13". This early example is in excellent original condition with no cracks or chips.
Occasionally a piece comes along totally unexpected; a one of a kind. Such is this 19th century chair fragment. At only 12" by 13" this thick Windsor plank seat is likely from a child's chair. It was discovered in Connecticut where it has been in a private collection. Making this piece special while adding a certain enigmatic charm are deeply carved initials and the date of 'JUNE 03 1874'. Perhaps this is a record of the children who occupied this seat? This is accidental art at its best!
Early egg basket from upstate New York. This smaller 19th century country piece measures 8" by 9" and stands 11" to the carved handle. Adding to the basket's charm is the original green paint including an undisturbed 'barn' surface. Besides color and condition, the basket also has a wonderful form with a round rim and square base. The piece has no breaks or losses with only expected wear to the paint. This is the perfect size basket for hanging on a tree or sitting on a shelf.
The game of Fox and Geese was said to have been commonly played by fishermen during idle times on sailing schooners working in the North Atlantic. Though originally played with wood pegs, once on dry land the play quickly changed to tokens such as used in checkers. This early 19th century piece from New England is a great country example. Homemade from pine and hand painted 3 deep colors, this piece measures 15 1/2" by 15" overall. Though simple by design isosceles triangles catch the eye.
19th century sheet iron horse off of a barn in Dover, New York. 'Rode hard and put up wet' as they say, this early farm fragment is offered with losses and a great old repair to the tail. Even with imperfections, this iron horse maintains its graceful form suggesting the maker was acquainted with horses. The elegant stride, upright head, and thick tail work together to create a horse with pride and beauty. At 23" tail to hoof and near 20" high, this early folk art figure displays beautifully.
(Sold) Having an affection for unusual country things we are always attracted to something we've never seen. Such is this 19th century homemade bentwood measure from Vermont. Measuring 8 3/4" in diameter and 5" high, this heavy utilitarian piece was no doubt made of necessity. The time and effort it took to bend what appears to be 1/4" thick maple is impressive. Upon completing that task the bottom was attached by square nails. The final touch is the appealing and original dry red paint.
Homemade wood planter in dry dove grey paint. This piece dates as early as 1900 and may possibly be earlier? Besides desirable color and surface, the canted form gives it appeal. A 13" square top sharply tapers to a 7" square base. This 5" offset gives the 12" tall planter graceful shape! The planter made of near 1" pine is made with tight butt joints finished with early wire nails and screws all of which are original. This piece is ready to be used with holes in place for proper drainage.
This wonderful chalk dove was an Illinois farm sale find well over 40 years ago. It was shown only once at the long gone Home in Indiana Antique Show. Other early chalkware has been discovered in Illinois over the years suggesting this is likely a local piece. Easily dating to the Victorian period of the late 19th century, the dove remains in the best original painted surface and condition with no chips or cracks. This life sized full bodied dove bascially measures 8" by 8" by 4" overall.
Shelves aren't just for clocks anymore! This nice larger pine shelf was found in upstate New York. The shelf measures 22" wide and 8 1/2" deep making it suitable for baskets and boxes! Giving the shelf character is its beautifully detailed 12" apron. (Note the maker had drawn the cutout on the bottom of the shelf as well.) The surface is the most desirable original dry red paint. Early iron brackets in dry gold paint serve as supports. The piece likely dates to the late 19th century.
Talk about a wardrobe! Wonderful 19th century miniature wardrobe found in Pennsylvania. At only 12 1/2" tall, 10" wide, and 5" deep, this piece is meticulously made with a dovetailed case top and bottom and mortised doors. It is offered in excellent as found condition with original hardware, however, there is little doubt the glass has been replaced. Fitted with shelves on one side and hooks for hanging on the other, the case sits on small turned feet. This is miniature country at its best!
(Sold) We are pleased to offer this colorful carved game board from a Schenectady, New York collection. Made of a single thick pine board, the piece measures 28" by 15" overall including a 1 1/4" deep frame. The 3-color game in original paint is enhanced by a 3-dimensional surface. Alternating green squares are carved in relief. This country checkerboard easily dates c.1900 if not earlier. The game board has some wear as does the painted surface. A simple mill game was added on the back.
We're not big buyers of birdhouses, but then we've never seen one quite like this! Dating to the 1920's or 30's, this was found in New England. The maker of this sweet piece saw fit to embellish the front with a songbird and 2 rabbits along with a porch, steps, and carved corner moldings. All this gives the near 100 year old birdhouse its folky character. The small house measures 11" by 10" and stands just 11" to the gable. It is offered in excellent original paint and condition.
It is our privilege to acquire small early oil paintings from a collector friend. This is our most recent example. At only 10" wide and 7" tall, a New England dirt road is pictured running through a wooded countryside. It has a pleasing presence. The country road takes a turn at the center of the art, taking the eye to the distant tree line and pasture giving the painting depth and perspective. The blue sky overhead makes the picture complete. At a glance a sense of calm prevails.
Hand cut wooden sign in the form of a black boot. Found in Pennsylvania, two 3/4" pine boards were put together to create this double sided trade sign in silhouette. The boot stands 18" from the top of the stack to the bottom of the heel. The shapely foot projects another 17" from heel to toe. Original iron hardware fastened to the top suggests the sign was hung when displayed. Dating to the early 20th century, this 100 year old figural sign is in the best original surface and condition.
As much as we enjoy colorful game boards, sometimes the graphics are all that's necessary to make a great one! The unusual field of 8 squares by 18 squares creates the obsessive nature of this simple 19th century game board. A single hard pine board measuring 11" by 20" was vigorously carved creating alternate squares in relief. This allowed the game to be played by feel, hence the nickname 'blindman's' board. A rounded molding is applied with square and wire nails. It remains as found.
We are pleased to make available two wonderful 19th century figural cookie cutters. These were recently discovered in eastern Pennsylvania and remain in the very best original condition. Although cookie cutters were common to the early baker, it is the unusual form of these two that appeal to us. The happy songbird is a flat cutter measuring 4 1/4" each way. The walking dog is 4 1/4" by 5 5/8" with a handle attached. These folky cookie cutters are being offered together for a single price.
When it comes to fruit, the apple is iconic and a subject matter often appreciated by artists and artisans. This set of vintage wooden nesting apples was made in Japan and date to the Midcentury. It was their color and size that caught our attention. Not only does the original paint remain vivid, the largest apple measures 5" overall and is the largest we've seen. The smallest of the 5 apples inside is a mere 3/4" overall. This colorful decorative apple adds color wherever it sits.
As simple as this game board might be, it is truly one of the least common. Rarely do we see a dry solid white example such as this. Found in Pennsylvania, this square nailed 'Old Mill Game' from the 19th century measures just 14"square. It is a thicker heavy piece set in a deep 1 1/2" frame. Unseen is the outside trim in dry black paint and the near worn out checkerboard on the reverse. That's because this side with its minimalist design is where the 'Art of the Game' shines!
Vintage rural roadside farm sign from New England. Dating to the early 20th century, 'STRAW' and 'FOR SALE' were hand lettered on two separate 1" thick boards measuring 39" by 5" each. The sign remains in dry original paint and as found condition. The green lettering has nicely crazed over the year adding to the sign's appeal. This is a great agriculturally related sign for a country home or farm.
We appreciate and are often amused by homemade weathervanes. Farm animals are a common subject. Caught 'mid crow', this sheet iron rooster was found in upstate New York. It is made of pieced scraps reinforced with iron straps. This barnyard strutter likely dates c.1900 and measures 38" by 24" overall. The directional is fixed with a heavy iron arrow and copper tail. A crusty red, white, and blue surface completes the picture! This folky piece has character and a great presence.
Found in an early barn in upstate New York, this sculptural 19th century tree crotch hook has a great form and wonderful patina. Shapes like this formed naturally as branches grew. Having the proper form to serve as a hook, this was taken from the tree curing over time all the while fulfilling its purpose as a hook. This piece has an 8 1/2" upright. The outward curve of the branch creates an opening of 5"+. The remaining gap is perfect for hanging whatever might need hung barn or home!
Simple as it is, honest early country checkerboards are no longer easily found. This great example recently purchased out of a midwestern collection has it all. Color: original bittersweet and black paint. Condition: absolutely as found. Age: thin clear pine, breadboard ends, and square nails. This piece is typical of an early New England game board and easily dates to the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Measuring 13 1/2" by 13 5/8" square, the game is painted on a single 1/2" thick board.
I guess it's just the way children are made, but balls of all shapes and sizes have been used to entertain young ones for centuries. None to us is more appealing than the colorful stitched oil cloth balls of the 19th century. This example in deep red and black was recently found in Pennsylvania. It measures just over 4" in diameter. The ball has kept its shape and remains in terrific original condition. There are 2 minor holes from play, but there are no rips or tears.
This smaller 19th century splint basket was recently bought out of an old midwest collection. Of course with the holiday season upon us, the dry painted surface of red over green makes this basket a natural for decorating. At 13" by 9" it is the perfect size for keeping Christmas cards or creating a country holiday center piece for the table. This is a sturdy basket and is heavy for its size. It is in excellent condition with a single small loss visible in the top left picture of the post.
No doubt in all our years of buying American country antiques this is the finest dough box we have owned. Purchased privately from a New England collector, this mid 19th century piece is in the best original condition including the dry putty white surface. The dovetailed box with carved lid measures just 26 1/2" long by 13 1/2" wide and stands 10" to the handle. It's made of clear pine, square nails, and early screws in the handles. Big enough to be seen, it's small enough to enjoy anywhere!
It is rare for us to offer a quilt of any sort, but when we saw this crib quilt we were smitten! Measuring 44" by 37", it was found in Iowa and likely dates to the 1930's or 40's. However, as wonderful as it looks it is the condition that puts it over the top. This is a thin quilt in unwashed mint condition. It is made of cotton sateen and is exuberantly quilted throughout. Primarily handmade, the border may have some machine stitching? To coin a phrase, 'this is as pretty as a picture'!
This early candle mold in old dry oyster paint is a find from our recent trip through New England. This 12 stick mold measures 6 1/2" by 4 1/2" by 11" in height. It is in a most desirable condition with no structural issues. Although 19th century zinc candle molds are relatively abundant, such molds in dry crusty paint are not. Likely painted in the latter 19th or early 20th century, there is little doubt the paint is well over 100 years old. This piece is best desribed as quietly pretty.
We rarely buy manufactured weathervanes and have never owned an eagle. As they say, 'never say never'! When we were offered this diminutive 19th century weathervane in wonderful original worn condition we felt the desire to own it. Fresh from a New England collector, this small full bodied copper piece has a wingspan of a mere 9 1/2". Shown on the maple block on which it was found, it stands 10 1/2" high. The early oxidized surface and old repairs give this bird a character of its own!
We have always been drawn to the color white. Like any other color, white comes in a variety of shades. It is the old dry chalky white of this basket that is our hands down favorite. This piece was found on our recent trip to Pennsylvania. It measures near 11" square and just over 7" high. What was no doubt a simple 19th century lidded woodlands Indian basket was transformed when it was painted white many years ago. It is in excellent overall condition with no losses and minimal wear.
Over the years we have offered the occasional piece of Victorian wire. But we have never seen or owned a piece comparable to this late 19th century wire tazza. French or otherwise European in origin, this piece is 10" by 8" overall. It has all the bells and whistles from fancy wire to tassels. It also appears to be perfect and complete in every way. If you have a collection of velvet or stone fruit, we have the compote to compliment and complete your collection to be sure!