Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tramp Art Sewing Box!

Are you familiar with “Tramp Art?”

I love coming across pieces in my travels – running my fingers over the almost “prairie point” like triangles in the wood carving.

These items are quite sought after, and go for a much higher price than my budget usually allows ---- layers upon layers of carved wood texture, often personalized with a date, a name --- In this case we’ve got both!

Here is the story from TLC:

I thought you might appreciate this tramp art needle box from Holland dated 1914.  The DH and I purchased it at an auction in Germany.  I'm afraid my emotional attachment got the best of me.  There was a bidding war and the DH was determined to get it for me.

Our antique dealer was The Rag and Bone Man.  He would win bids to clean out old estates.  Then round up everything and bring it to auction at an American Military Base.
There's a pincusion in the center top.  The name is Harderwyk and the inside reads Henri 1914, Louise 1915.

We also picked up a very large foldout sewing cabinet, but don't have a picture of it on me.  It's in son#1 abode being used as a TV stand..............
Thanks again for sharing your enormous talent with the world!
Now to move to the sewing space and catch up with "quiltcam".  The weather outside is frightful, but the stitching is so delightful......SW OH has their first major snow in 2 years.  The base is shutdown. The DH is snoring.  And I have all the leftove Christmas sweets left at our house calling me while we're snowed in.  Carrot cake, grasshopper pie, pecan pie and all sorts of cookies.  Somebody stop me!

Thank you so much for sharing this treasure!  Doesn’t it make you wonder who Henri and Louise Harderwyk were?  How did this family piece end up at auction?  What kinds of things did they store in it?  It was definitely a sewing box ---there is a pincushion on top of the lid!

If you are interested in more tramp art samples…click this link HERE.  You will get an eye full!

Do you have any antique sewing items that you are willing to share with our readers?  Email the photos and the stories to me.  I'd love to see and share what you find dear!

Yesterday I was in such a funk because I thought YESTERDAY was Thursday all day.

I know.  Silly!  Now that it really is Thursday – I feel like I’ve been given an extra day this week to get ready for leaving on Saturday.  I’ll be spending much of the day getting tomorrow’s and subsequent Easy Street clues ready to auto-post, so be watching for those….our big finish is right around the corner and we may jump you off of your regularly scheduled programming! :cD  Check back daily to see what I have in store for you!


  1. As they say Keep Calm and Carry On...beautiful box!

  2. Thanks for the link Bonnie. I'm going to do some more research on the needle box. We were lead to believe that the box was made for a loved one during WWI and the art form was trench art. An art form that came about from boredom living in the trenches. Now I'm more intrigued with the piece.

  3. I am awed by the intricate artwork! If I sent a pic of my antique to send it would be a pic of me...yuck .... Patiently waiting for the next clue....ok not so patiently so I started a new quilt cut out on Christmas day..Your mystery has given me enough confidence to try a scraps only quilt I have drooled over for several years. 2 blocks done and I am in love ;) Did not make much of a dent in my scraps...

  4. Harderwijk is a fishers village at the border of the IJsselmeer, former Zuiderzee. It is close to Staphorst, still most of the people are fishermen, known for its traditional dresses worn by the women up to today. The herring and eel smokeries over there have been founded - at least the most important and still working part there, in Harderwijk - in Spaarndam, where I was born, just north of Haarlem. Smokers'family name is Kok. My father used to drive trailers for this company - being it this same smokery where my grandfather worked in Spaarndam - to Sweden, to buy salmon over there to be smoked here, with smoked herring and eel on board to Sweden to be sold out there.
    It is very likely that Harderwyk is not the family name, but the name of the village, as fishermen spent time carving wood when in winter they use to go out fishing less due to stormy weather. Being poor they ended up using cigar boxes and fish crates for carving. I have seen like boxes in the family....
    Other boxes like this were famous from Friesland, and are known as Frisian carve works. The patterns on the sides can be found there as well.
    Most boxes didn't survive due to harsh living circumstances, and later because they were deemed to be too old fashioned 8^{
    Hope that this information is helpfull,
    Love from a drizzling Amsterdam,

    1. Anonymous2:20 PM EST

      Thank you for this historical information. It's fascinating. I have never heard of this art form before and it is truly amazing.

    2. First I've heard of this art form and it is beautiful. Thanks all for sharing the photos and the info.

  5. Thanks, Irene! Isn't it wonderful that we all share the urge to be creative when there is less work tone done? Like fishermen, soldiers in trenches, and depression-era homeless turning to carving wood. Sometimes I worry that our modern culture isn't leaving time for creativity. What will people find in second hand stores in 50+ years?

    1. Well, lots of quilts, for one thing!
      Christy Horton

  6. Hello Bonnie,
    what a nice box! The grandfather of my Dad used to make picture frames in this design. So I guess its not just an amercan way of creating wooden things. My Grand Grand Dad lived in Belgium. I will see, where this frame is and will send you a pic of it. I am sure its around here somewhere still..
    Have a Happy New Year
    xxx Doris from Germany.

  7. That sewing box is just beautiful! The time it took to make such a beautiful creation out of wood. A huge treasure, My husband loves carving and creating things out of wood ~ I'm going to have to show him this amazing box! Thank you so much for sharing! ~Happy Quilting!

  8. Anonymous2:24 PM EST

    What a fascinating piece! Isn't it amazing that such beautiful things can be made from everyday materials, skill, patience and creativity. Amazing. You are such a tease with the Easy Street mystery! Check daily??? Woo Hoo!

  9. Tramp art is also featured in Delectable Mountains by Earlene Fowler. It is amazing the items which Benni Harper explores for her mythical museum.

  10. SO LOVED THE TRAMP ART, oops! Thanks for sharing. Your blog is so fun! the items we learn about.

    I have to agree with the gals on previous blog about the disgraceful way the seller sold you a machine and the despicable way she packed it. UGH!!!

    I received a hexie kit as a gift. Just ironed the hexie papers onto many fabrics, and basted two hexies.
    Wow this is surely relaxing slow, sit down, while watching TV. Maybe a good item to be working on with you while you quilt cam. Pgh


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)