Life in Old South Central Alabama

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South of Birmingham, Alabama, United States
I am an antique trader in central Alabama....I love old houses... My log home was built in 1817 by my ancestors Benjamin and Hannah Harless Wilson .............. Outside the house are herb gardens and lots of pass-along plants................ No one in Alabama is in a hurry about anything......... Visitors think that the garden needs weeding and the furniture needs polishing....I am a direct descendant of Joseph Towne, whose two sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 as witches. I am also a direct descendant of Pocahontas and husband John Rolfe.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Two Gentlemen's portraits

I bought this one last week from an auction in Florida.  He appears to have been a person of means and refinement.  I know this is before 1860 but don't know how much before. I've got to study men's ties from 1780 to 1880 as a guide for dating paintings. 

I bought this one Sunday from an auction in Connecticut.  The outfit and the bible leave no doubt that he was a minister. I am dating this one about 1850.  No frame, but the size is not uncommon so I should be able to find something suitable. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Game Called Pope Joan

Here is a rare playing board for the card game Pope Joan.   The game was named for a supposed female Pope in the 800's who actually never existed .   The card game was popular from the mid-1700's all the way into the early 1800's.  The upper classes in England played this game at parties.   

The round wooden playing board is divided into eight sections where the cards are placed.   When I was reading a lot of English history and literature from the 18th century, the game Pope Joan would be mentioned from time to time as a popular pastime,  and I became interested in learning more about it, so I have been wanting one of these boards for a long time.  Now I need a set of cards to go with it. 
Here are upper class people playing Pope Joan. The drawing was printed about 1796 and is also making fun of the feathers that adorned the ladies' hair at the time.  

Gourds are Drying in the Field





Sunday, August 3, 2014

Buying Treen in Bibb County, Alabama

Saturday I was checking out some Bibb County antique shops and was invited to take a look around an old industrial building full of all sorts of things. 

I found a table with some old treenware stacked on top so I got an old box and began to fill it up. 

I found this niddy noddy and could see it was very old and very genuine.

I know the picture isn't good but I wanted to show that the end of the piece was mortise and tendon and has little wooden pegs to hold it together. I've never seen one like that before. 

There were two boot jacks with lots of wear. 

I found four mashers, each with its own personality. 

There was a rolling pin, a butter paddle, a spoon, and another paddle.

This is some sort of scraper. 

The mortar was easy to spot and is not very large.

I discovered the round top of the spoon was the pestle. 

They were a perfect match. 

This is some sort of blacksmith-made meat fork. It was among the treen so I put it in my keeper box.

The box seemed plain enough and old enough.

When I got home I found the end was embossed Pansy Seeded Raisins, Guggenhime and Company, California. 

All in all, not a bad haul. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The gourds are blooming


The gourds are up and beginning to bloom.  I try to water them every other day to keep them happy. 

These are egg gourds that came up on their own so I'm giving them water and encouragement .

I also have planted drinking gourds but have yet to start on the fence they will need to make their handles grow straight.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A quiet June evening in Alabama

It's a quiet night in Alabama at my house.

The boy is "'Absorbed in Robinson Crusoe."

Jesus blesses the little children.  God has
always been a very present help in time of trouble.

My friend Dean gave me the small dolls. 

A bit of green for a blue buggy.

Montgomery County 1843 survivor.

The pitcher is Blossom by  F. Morley and Company.

I bought a blue/mustard rug last week. 

Do you like old pottery?

Some wooden hat stands.


A second rocking horse. A key to tighten rope beds is in the dough box. 

The flag is by Ann Rae.

The back room is a mess again.

Next project ... blue curtains. 

A peaceful night look.


The downstairs girls are doing fine.


My great grandfather and his nurse. She is on the plantation inventory in 1857 with husband Charles. Her name was Pleasant. She and Charles and another man named Skinner were willed to my great great great grandfather's first wife by the wife's father, Thomas Welch of Dallas County, Alabama who died in 1832. She and Charles lived to be free and are listed as husband and wife on the 1870 census. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sympathy for a victorian chair

This poor little Victorian chair sat at a shop for over a year. Gorilla glue oozing from its broken joints.  Too weak to hold a sitter. Too purple to fit in today's world of tan decor. 
  

My style is primitive.  Chairs such as this belong in a Mississippi Riverfront mansion like my friend in Missouri owns, not a log cabin on a creek in Alabama. 

Yet, even a primitive furniture person such as myself can't help but see beauty where beauty is. 

So I offered $30.  The lady said that will be fine. 

Well, this is quite the contrast I must say, but not to worry. I'm planning a glorious Victorian-Empire secret salon boudoir room in my next house. Closed door; invitation only.

Friday, April 11, 2014

New England Bucket Bench

This was one of my buys from last week. I was with a friend when she bought it a couple of years ago. I liked it but said nothing. Then she traded it to another friend for a Southern bucket bench that was much more primitive.   Then the friend's friend who is also my friend had it in her shop for sale. Now it is mine.