Sunday, 6 January 2013

A 'crants' for a maiden!

My maiden's crants
     This picture (left) taken from a recent copy of Country Life shows a treasure from a country church in Shropshire.  It is an 18th C garland made from ribbons and crimped paper made to honour the funeral of a virgin, often buried with the deceased, but sometimes hung as a memorial from pegs painted with the initials and year of death.    It reminded me that I have one of these rare and  poignant memorials hidden away out of the light and it is something that always gives me a pang of sorrow when I look at the little gold spangled paper flowers in softly painted shades of rose, cream and mauve.   So simple, so innocent and so touching!   I bought it in my first days of collecting and dealing from a delightful older couple in Sussex who had many treasures at a time when folk art and treen and primitive tools and toys were not really valued and  most knowledge was confined to a very worthy book Treen by Charles Pinto( which became my bible).  Few people understood what folk art was about, although the Americans had long prized it.       I cannot bring myself to sell it, but hope one day to find a suitable hanging place for it where it will remind people of the fragility of life in those far away days, and spare a thought for the village maidens who died.

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