Visitors to Historic Deerfield can now see more than two dozen objects recently acquired for the museum’s collection in the exhibition, “What’s New? Recent Acquisitions at Historic Deerfield,” on view in the museum’s Flynt Center of Early New England Life through August 12, 2007.
“These noteworthy artifacts illustrate themes in our regional history for visitors, and they show the direction in which the museum is heading,” said Philip Zea, president of Historic Deerfield. “We want to be able to tell all sides of the story, and these new additions to the collection help us do that.”
Antique furniture highlights include two Hadley chests. One joined chest with drawer is marked “IEN,” making it one of only a dozen or so surviving tulip and vine carved chests from Hampshire County incised with three initials.
These chests were prominent pieces of furniture in colonial homes, housing valuable textiles. Retaining its full height and, possibly, traces of original black paint on the drop-ground surfaces of its relief carving, this chest is significant for its state of preservation and the initials, “IEN,” marking the December 19, 1707 wedding of John Nims (1679‱762) and Elizabeth Hull (1688‱754) of Deerfield. Other furniture in the show includes a pair of chairs probably made in Springfield, Mass., circa 1680.
Ceramics include the first installment of English creamware from the Sampson collection. Alistair Sampson (1929′006), a prominent British antiques dealer, specialized in the sale of ceramics, oak furniture, brass and metalwork, and needlework.
Consisting of 162 pieces of English creamware, the Sampson collection ranges widely in terms of forms. Fifteen selections from the Sampson collection are on view. The remainder will be made available in the museum’s Attic of the Flynt Center starting on March 31.
More English ceramics on display include a colorful melon-shaped teapot and tea canister. The teapot is executed in the rococo style popular in the mid-to-late-Eighteenth Century, when English-made melon-shaped ceramics were a common sight on Connecticut River Valley tea tables.
Artwork includes an oil painting attributed to Erastus Salisbury Field, “The Buffalo Hunt.” Although this work is unsigned, Field painted it for the Hubbard family of Sunderland, Mass., in the 1870s. Also on view is a print, “Liberty,” after the painting by Edward Savage (1761‱817). This is presented along with two drawings by Sally Rogers, an artist born in Lempster, N.H., without the use of her arms and legs. Starting in 1806, she toured the country creating watercolors and cutting silhouettes.
A rare surviving tape loom sash and 22-inch Native-American war club also are on view. The sash is inscribed “Nathanael Bartlet October 19 1771,” and was worn by a soldier from South Hadley, Mass. The war club was probably made during the first half of the Seventeenth Century, and was stone carved from a single piece of wood, probably sycamore, incorporating a burl knot for its head.
For information, www.historic-deerfield.org or 413-775-7214.