These assemblages are folk art fun to us now, but nobody could know the inspiration for each one. The idea was simple: cover a jug or other object with putty, plaster or concrete. Press all kinds of objects into it. When the putty dried, all those embedded treasures would be a memorial to a family member, or a mosaiced reminder of day-to-day life. It's a 3D scrapbook!
Prominent on this Memory Jug is the stone maskette. It's very detailed, with a furrowed forehead and deep sunken eyes. It does not appear to be ancient, but it is reminiscent of other old stone faces unearthed in the eastern U.S.
We acquired the jug in Pennsylvania. There is a handwritten note taped to the bottom with this message:
"This memory jug appears to have been made circa 1890. It was purchased in southern Chester Co. at a farm auction. The stone face is similar to ones found in New Jersey."
Chester County is in the southeast corner of Pennsylvania, bordering Maryland and Delaware.
These are some of the other delights embedded in the putty on this one-handled jug:
*a railroad button or token, Phila & Balt Central R.R. Co., circa 1850s (it's positioned near the handle)
*a silver coin (below the handle). The text is "Carolus III Dei Gratia 1777". This refers to Spanish King "Charles III, By the Grace of God".
*3 arrowheads from the Woodland Era (1,000 to 3,000 years before present). The two white ones are quartz; the third is darker stone, with the tip broken off.
*part of a mouth harp (jaw harp, juice harp)
*three tiny baskets carved from the pits of peaches or smaller fruit
*four pieces of a broken glass thermometer
*buttons, beads, screw, nail, spoon, thimble ... plus various other bits of glass, china and metal
*natural finds like shells, rocks, a pinecone
weight before packaging: 3 lbs 11 oz
The whole piece is clean and free of odors. The putty has some cracks from age, especially near the base. But other than that, it seems to be in fine shape, holding everything secure. It looks like nothing is missing!
Many old Memory Jugs were covered with gold paint that obscured the trinkets. On this one, only the spoon has some paint on it.
We took lots of pictures; send a convo if you'd like to see more. I will also be posting more photos on my blog ... if you can't find threeoldkeys dot blogspot, send me a note.
This heavy treasure will be double boxed, packaged carefully, and insured. Shipping is included in the listing price, to destinations within the contiguous 48 U.S. states. We will be happy to check the rates to other places.
Stored in a non-smoking home. Thanks for looking, and Shop Etsy!
Have any questions? Contact the shop owner.