Monday, March 19, 2012

As promised

Okay, so the pictures aren’t that great. It’s a large and unwieldy thing to photograph, not to mention the fact that I was too lazy to try hard after attending a 4-hour work meeting this morning. Yes, it's that time again - back to the farm. But never mind that. I promised to talk about this “cool, old thingy.” It’s an antique school room chalk board that my husband and I found last winter. It was shoved behind some junk in a dark corner of an antique store. We were Christmas shopping. The price was so unbelievably good, we agreed to split the cost and give it to each other for Christmas.

It needed work; the chalk board was faded and splintery, but the oak casing was irresistible. Also, the scroll was printed with beautiful illustrations. Every turn of the knob was a new surprise, chock full of useful and interesting to me information. Last but not least was the little hinge bit that revealed a secret compartment and a fold-down desktop. I’d like to know how old this thing really is, and where it lived before. I like to imagine it graced the wall of a nursery in a Jane Eyre-ish type mansion.



Love the detail

the handles that roll the scroll





found this notation in pencil - is it the year or an address?

some of these flags (and countries) no longer exist





blueprints for building a house







the secret compartment!

its new home above the fireplace

29 comments:

angelina said...

woooo a secret compartment!
what beautiful oak, thank you for sharing, such a treasure. love you ruby,
laura. x

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Mercy! What a treasure you were led to find! It's magnificent....I love the wonderful illustrations on the roller paper! Plus a secret compartment......I guess late 1800 or early 1900s.........Some illustrations seem earlier, but isn't that a craftsman type house?

When I was young I used to adore reading little stories by Hans Christian Anderson in a book of my mother's. They were stories about the history of artifacts, like the life of a corkscrew. Quite fascinating.

Jodi said...

Kristi, it is cool, isn't it? A craftsman-type house? You're right! Good eye. That book you read as a child sounds pretty neat.

Jodi said...

Angelina, love you back, Laura. xx Ruby.

amy said...

oh. my. goodness... that is simply amazing. truly. you find the best things.

Leslie said...

You have REALLY cool antique stores in your part of the world. This piece is AMAZING! Did you repaint it with chalk paint? And that secret compartment is just the icing on the cake.

Nancy said...

Love it! What a strange, cool, bizarre collection of illustrations on that scroll. Some of them remind me of drawings from Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.

I'm so glad you two don't Christmas shop for each other at the local WalMart. You'd never find anything like this there.

Jodi said...

Nancy, yup, strange, cool, and bizarre--that's how I roll. ;)

Jodi said...

Les, I did use chalk board paint. It was in sore need. I don't think I lessened the value of the piece. I don't think it had any, except for being a curiosity.

Kim said...

Love, Love, Love it.....
The junkier the store the better I say!

Thank you for sharing, so cool.

Jodi said...

You're welcome, Kim. And I agree--the junkier, the better.

Leslie said...

Well, I'm no expert on restoring antiques. And you're using it for yourself, so why not use chalkboard paint to restore it? I can't fathom how the paper illustrations on something this old are so clear, let alone that the roller still works!

Anonymous said...

It is called a Traveling Teacher's Desk. It was made by the Lewis Myers & Company as the Chautauqua Art Desk. They also put out books and teaching aids/supplies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was first patented in 1895. The pictures should have copyright dates that will give you an approximation of the date of its fabrication.

Jodi said...

THANK YOU, ANONYMOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nancy said...

What a treasure you have found.....

Kim Hyland said...

Oh wow, Jodi! What a treasure. Those images are beautiful!! (BTW, come on down . . you'd love the Shenandoah Valley. Antiques and old things galore! We could explore it together)

SUGAR MOON said...

Very interesting. I love secret compartments. Thanks for sharing.

Laura said...

Oh, Jodi, this is sooo beautiful! I actually felt my heartbeat quicken as I looked. And I'm not even an antiques person. (though I think I could easily have become one in another life). The train screen must have been a favorite. Those beautiful illustrations brought back memories from elementary school of a teacher pulling down screen after screen of maps on a similar (though not so beautiful) piece.

Lovely.

Ramblings by Carol Nuckols said...

How interesting. Those illustrations: birds' eggs, botanicals, flags from countries that don't exist anymore. That is a treasure.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

that really is the coolest thing I've ever seen. You're a lucky duck!!!! Let's pretend it's an address and google it! Then if we can't find anything, let's say it's a year.

Sara said...

That is a fascinating item, Jodi, and how cool that anonymous was able to provide information about it! It's a treasure. I can't get over all the different things on that scroll...I guess covering all the topics a teacher would need to talk about back in the day.

Cheryl said...

What a fabulous find. I love the variety of information, including the blue print. What more could you want!

Aqeela said...

This is so unique, ive never seen anything like it, i surely would have hoped to buy that if id have seen it, i really want one now!
Thankyou for your comment on my post about the old Mothers Day cards, yes, i shall use them at some point for a craft project, not sure how yet but i have a few ideas whizzing around!
Aqeela xx

Kat said...

How beautiful! What a thrill to have in your home! I so loved the pictures, thank you.

Stephanie Ann said...

This is very cool! Count the number of stars on the American flag. That will at least give you an earliest date.

Deb Colarossi said...

No Way!!

This gives me chills.
And I'm not really much of an antique person.

Susan said...

I missed this post -- what an amazing find. It's beautiful and looks great on your mantle. Thanks for sharing.

Olivia said...

What a beautiful piece! And what a delightful bit of history; I'm so happy for you.

Emily said...

I would LOVE to know where it lived before. I just love looking at things like that and wondering who used them before me, and what their lives were like. Secret compartments! Those are the best.

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