Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"When the cat's away, the mouse will go antique shopping..."

      That's right!  The "cat" being the Lord of the Manor.  He is up and away to his oldest son's wedding on the west coast while the  little grey mouse stayed home to prepare for an important art event coming soon..  No problem. All work and no play makes Jeri a dull mouse... so I HAD to take a wee break and visit our local Antique shop. I found a treasure.
It was a little rough around the edges
 and had a lot of parts
 but with a little Murphy's Oil soap and some Linseed Oil
 all will be as it should.
See what I mean?!

The little drawer handles are perfectly wonderful, and only need to be cleaned.
and there is the faintest of text on each drawer....
In some spots, the words are barely discernable because of the rust.
 By carefully applying a thin coat of poly-u, the words begin to magically re-appear;

On the back of the box..
and on the drawers.
Assorted Colors
 J&P  Coats
 Spool Cotton for hand & machine sewing
 I did have a devil of a time trying to figure out the 5th drawer. But it should say
"Best Six Cord"
and the 6th drawer plate, which should say WHITE is missing.
All referring to THREAD.
I am sure some of you will know exactly what this is.
This is a spool cabinet.
 In 1877   J.P Coats,  began producing spool boxes from a factory in Rhode Island, to be placed upon country store counters. Merchants who carried the thread received the box for free. It was a great marketing tool and these cabinets were a staple in General Store counters across the land. The history of this Cotton Thread company is interesting if you are a needle woman.  The  Clark Mill began producing cotton thread  in Paisley, Scotland in 1812, when Napoleons blockade stopped the importation of silk thread to Britain from India. Following the success of the Clark mill, a local weaver,  by the name of  James Coats, used his vast knowledge of fine yarn twisting to apply to the thread market. His business also became quite a success. Upon his retirement in 1830, his two sons, James and Peter, took over the company, which became J.&P. Coats. Next, John Clark invented a spooling machine which wound the cotton thread onto small wooden spools.  Both companies brought their goods to the American market and thrived under their separate labels... "CLARK"  and "J&P Coats". Until, in 1896, when  the two companies merged to become "Coats and Clark", a name all needle-workers know so well.
 Have you ever wondered what the O.N.T. means on the spool? It stands for Our New Thread.
 Knowing the history makes it even more interesting that I  have used these threads all my life:  just think, in business for over 200 years!
That is what makes  antiques so fascinating, they are not just objects, they are part of history and heritage.
I would love to be able to date this piece using the walnut wood, ornate spindles along the corners and the unusual little drawer handles as clues. The text on the drawers was done on a metal plate; I know that the later cabinet's drawer labels were painted on glass and often made of oak. I am placing this piece as an early one, maybe 1877-1880's. If any one else knows how to determine the age on these, please let me know.

   I've seen these cabinets in nearly perfect condition, but I enjoy a piece that REALLY shows it's age..missing handles, missing metal text plate on bottom drawer, scratched and worn, sorta like me. I did not want this to be perfect, I prefer all the flaws; (and I didn't have to pay much for this either!)
   I have yet to decide it's use in my studio, for the time being I am just thinking about all the possibilities and stuffing little body parts in the drawers.
 It certainly belongs in my studio along with many delightful objects!

  Oh, and by the way, although I could not attend my step-sons wedding, I did send a lovely gift via my husband...
 This is our copy of my original Scherenschnitte, but I made an additional cutting  for our son
 and his bride with a different message written inside the heart...just for them.

Fondly, Jeri


  1. Did you find a GEM or what!!!! Oh Jeri, I love this spool cabinet. You have given it such tend care in cleaning it up.. It is just beautiful! I love the look of the old.. Those handles are great, and love the printing on the drawers.

    The print of your Scherenschnitte that you send along for your son and his bride is exquisite!
    How wonderful that you put a message for the bride and groom inside the heart.
    This will be an heirloom.
    Thank you so much for sharing this...
    p.s. I want this bun bun dressed in blue! I know he is not for sale, but his expression is too cute for words!
    love ya!

  2. Jeri, your antique thread cabinet is just beautiful. I love the history behind the Coats and Clark company. You have a real treasure there! I'm sure your son and new wife will hang your lovely artwork in a place of honor. I love having your art in our home! ♥

  3. Thanks for sharing the history........I recently gave up a whole bag of thread on wooden spoons, now I am feeling just a tad bit regretful :) your antique cabinet cleaned up so nicely. Its a wonderful find. Enjoy it my friend..........blessings

  4. Awesome cabinet Jeri . . . and the hop along friends you've been creating are just perfect!!
    Lori Ann

  5. You find such interesting pieces! And your Scherenschnitte is a wonderful keepsake for the bride and groom.

  6. JERI LANDERS, you did what I'd do when the chief cat is away....teeeeeeeee

    Heck, I am lickety-split out the door and on the highway to my favorite antique shop as soon as DR. R. is on the plane for a trip too! Jeri, you got yourself a treasure chest here of history and practical use! LOOK at those bunny heads and other various animal parts! And this piece has been lovingly restored with your magical powers (and good knowledge of the use of Murphy oil soap and linseed oil!)

    My friend, enjoy yourself. It's great to see you! Anita

  7. oh my, you sure did bring that piece to life! gorgeous and i would love a piece like that! So happy for you.

    Congrats to the loving couple. Your wedding gift is gorgeous.

  8. Hi Jeri,

    What a wonderful find! love your latest treasure and with some tender loving care you have made this a beautiful piece. So glad that you were able to uncover the writing. I too have been using Coats threads for years.
    Love the beautiful wedding gift.
    Happy Sunday and many thanks for visiting me

  9. Jeri, you were in the right place at the right time... What a great old piece. Not easy to come by pieces like this either. I am always on the lookout but rarely do I find any. ..
    It has the perfect home now.
    Your Scherenschnitte work is truly exquisite. You are an amazing artist!!! Thank you for sharing.

  10. What a find, it looks right in its new home. Thanks for dropping by and the lovely comment. Looking forward to having time to finish off work now we are reaching the holidays.

  11. Ooooo!
    Oh Jeri!!
    Isn't it just a wonderful feeling to find something in need of rescue and to bring it back to it's own integrity? Half of the fun of finding these treasures is to make them pretty and useful again! And you have done just that with this beautiful little piece!!
    What a perfect goodly keeping cabinet that looks so natural among all the collections! How fun to reveal the letters on the tin! It is also fun to know a little about the history and I loved that you shared the background and significance of how it fits into the American development.

    The Scherenschnitte will surely be cherished indeed, as it is beautiful!

    Many many blessings dearest friend, Linnie

  12. What a cool find, dear Jeri! Yes...the history...it is so special to have a part of history.
    Congratulations on the wedding...they will TREASURE your gorgeous gift....
    And I THANK YOU for coming over to see my Cotswolds dream...I was hoping very much you would visit...I was thinking of Beatrix Potter and YOU!
    (Why I often break into an English accent...don't you? ;))
    Blessings and wishes for more weekend fun... :)
    Warm hugs,
    - Irina

  13. JERI LANDERS, good mornin'! I see you now have two Minneapolis dwellers here, for my dear friend Irina has come!

    I was thrilled to see your comment on my page this morning and that you saw LINNIE'S POST that just made my heart drop and myself swoon....where's there a fainting couch when you need one! Oh, but I could have a spot of tea to revive me! I had so much fun at her post with all the videos celebrating British literature - and somehow, I KNEW you would celebrate something along the same lines.

    So you are a Dutch gal too! What a lovely "maiden name" you carry with you. You should have heard me once trying to speak Dutch to my dutch friend via Skype. She politely laughed and appreciated my attempts! I must stick to French.

    Well dear one, your art has been passed down to your son and I wish them a lovely journey as they start their lives together. They will always have the work of your hands in their home.

    Enjoy your day, and thanks for visiting the Europe tour! XOXOXO Anita

  14. Dear Jeri - I can see you were not the least bit bored or lonely while the cat is away. What a gorgeous prize. Such history too and I never knew what ONT meant. Your son and his bride are just going to love your art piece. Who wouldn't - so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely day.

  15. Nice find! I had no idea about the thread, though. :) It looks like you did have a fun time on your own!

  16. Love the cabinet and the fact you found one you could bring back to a useful condition. I've always loved primitives and store ones are the best. I'll have to remember the oil soap and linseed oil trick. It works beautifully.

  17. A beautiful restoration-a beautiful old piece, so glad you are giving it a good home. I must admit, my eyes were drawn more to the 'body parts' in the drawers, and the little chubby folks on top of it! I just love your creations! The wedding present is gorgeous....

  18. I have always longed for a spool cabinet, but have not yet found one that I felt was affordable. I'll have to admit, you did give me pause when you talked of stuffing the drawers with body parts. Someone who didn't read your blog with regularity might get the wrong idea (laughing)!!! Have a great day, Jeri....antiquing is one of my favorite pastimes as well!!

  19. I miss my cat when he's away--but like you I treat myself to funfunfun. Love the O.N.T. info and how perfect is it that you found a thread case just when you're having fun sewing more Hopalong Hollow stuffed citizens!

    Your scherenschnitte print is a cherished fixture in our cottage. So I know the newlyweds now have a special piece that they will enjoy in their new life together. Blessings on them (as well as you and the Lord and Master).


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