Thursday, 21 March 2013

Delft Squirrel and Free Ackworth Squirrel Download

The other day when clearing down the logs from the wood shed I found a lovely mound of winter nuts that had been hoarded there by a squirrel. While many people hereabouts don't like squirrels because they feast on the seeds put out for the birds, I am rather fond of watching them. And having seen them repeated so often on samplers, I feel we have a long relationship now. Their images on samplers date back to the mid 17th century and probably before. So, you can imagine my pleasure at seeing this squirrel from the 18th century. She is about 7.5 inches tall and was made in Delft, a charming town in the Netherlands. There is a mark IG 4 in iron-red which identifies her as the work of Johannes Gaal who died July 1725. He was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke as a plateelschilder (a faience painter) on Nov 22, 1707. This picture is from Collection Aronson Antiquairs Amsterdam. The squirrel is from the collection of Ivan B. Hart who was born in Winschoten, the Netherlands, and later moved his company to Boston in 1938 then branched out to Australia and Argentina. So lots of squirreled connections there! And here is another one. Simply click on the squirrel below for a larger image. This is one of 100 Quaker motifs that you will find in The Ackworth School Pattern Book which is available as a download - click on the browse button to see more.
Here you can see our squirrel - perhaps not too clearly - to the left of the tree trunk on an 18th century palimpore.
And just in case you feel tempted to reach for the shotgun the next time you see a squirrel enjoying dinner at the bird table - maybe this image will make you think twice.
Now out of print, the Ackworth School Pattern Book containing over 100 charted Quaker motifs is available as a PDF download.

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