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Dig Antiques - Real stuff without the fluff.

November 2011

Beautiful Bread and Cutting Boards

Catherine Beecher, in her 1845 book, A Treatise on Domestic Economy, for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, lists a bread board as one of the necessary wood utensils for a kitchen. Indeed bread and cutting boards were in use in every early American home, just as they still are today.

Antique cutting boards and bread boards can be found in a stunning variety of shapes, sizes and colors. As with other wooden ware, the patina of the wood, type of wood and how it was cut and finished are clues to the age and value of the board.  They were usually made out of pine or maple woods but you also find ones that used walnut, hickory and cherry, which are hardwoods especially good for cutting boards. Many times they were simply made from wood leftover from other projects.

A common way of finishing the larger boards was to add “breadboard” ends. This is the piece of wood attached across the grain to each end of a board. Its purpose was to keep the board from splitting along the grain as it naturally shrinks from repeated washing and drying. The breadboard ends significantly lengthened the use of a board and added a nice finishing touch.

As you look at a board, you can tell a lot from how the edges are finished and the number of cuts in the wood. Some look as if they were never used, some have many tiny cuts from heavy use; still others have a soft, almost silky feel from the type of wood (likely pine) and the amount of washing it under went. They each have a story to tell.

Boards make great collections as they are easy to display and can be relatively inexpensive to acquire. There are so many different styles to choose from. You can collect boards with similar shapes such as focusing on animals including pigs, bunnies, fish and cats. Antique Bread Boards and Cutting BoardsOr, there are tombstone, round, oval, rectangular, and occasionally octagonal shaped boards. There are painted boards, which are harder to find as usually the paint wore off. There are ones with shaped handles and ones carved with sayings.  Three of the popular shaped handles are keystone, lollipop and heart shaped.

This photo shows a variety of different boards – a rare large round one with a heart handle, a green painted one, two tombstone shaped boards (one is mustard painted), a bunny shape and even a round one carved with “Be Thankful” which surely made a great addition to an earlier Thanksgiving table.

Search for cutting boards and bread boards on Dig Antiques to see many different examples.


Christmas Decorating on a Budget
Written by Guest Columnist: Lyn Andeen

What a great time of year! Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

With all the gift buying we may be on a tighter budget than usual. The good news is, there are lots of great country Christmas collectibles for very reasonable prices.

I'm especially drawn to some of the items that were popular in my own childhood.  Mixed with natural greenery those cute little Christmas houses, bottle brush trees, and figurative candles make a great and inexpensive display. Some of the earlier German items like the sheep and animals mix in well.  And don't forget Santa!

We can also draw from our everyday country collections to decorate. Some of these items we don't necessarily associate with Christmas and some we do. If you’re lucky enough to own a feather tree, great!  If not, a natural tree or even a branch from outside is great for decorating. Early spun ornaments and figurative glass ornaments mixed with old socks and mittens, cookie cutters, sewing items and early potholders are a few items I use. I love to unwind an old ragball as garland.

For a great display under the tree, pull out those old sleds, skates and toys. For the mantle or center pieces all lighting, stone fruit, butter molds, candy containers, boxes of all kinds, filled glass storage jars, banks and architectural elements are great to use. And don't forget to hang the stockings! For displaying your cards an old shutter works well.

Let your imagination go. Think outside the box and have a great time decorating!

Vote for Your Favorite Holiday Display!

Which of the following displays do you prefer: "Everyday into a Holiday" or "Traditional Holiday Decor"? Vote here!

Everyday into a Holiday

Everyday into a Holiday

Traditional Holiday

Traditional Holiday Decor

Vote NowDo you prefer "Everyday into a Holiday" or "Traditional Holiday Decor" ?

You can immediately see the results of this poll and watch it change in real time.

Join our conversation — like Dig Antiques on Facebook and post your own favorite display photo or decorating tip.

Happy Holidays to all,

About Lyn Andeen

Lyn Andeen has been an avid collector and dealer for the past 28 years. She has been in group shops, setup at countless antique shows and has a true artistic eye. Lyn's passion is for quality 18th through early 20th century Americana, decorative arts, Shaker and folk art. You can find Lyn online through Andeen Antiques.


Poll Results and Thanksgiving Thoughts

We had great response to last month's Dig Antiques Poll which asked the question: When attending or selling at an antique show, do you prefer booths set-up with more or less antiques? Initially, the results were very close but after 100 votes, we've seen the split remaining consistent with 64% prefering more antiques in a show booth. View the final results from the October survey here. And, don't forget to vote in this month's survey here!

The Shops on Dig Antiques continues to grow. We'd like to welcome our newest Shop on Dig Antiques: The HVS Collection. Click here to learn more about opening your own Shop.

Thanksgiving is here and as usual we are looking forward to spending the week with family and friends. One of our nieces has taken to posting on Facebook each day in November something that she is thankful for. It means she has to come up with 30 different things to say. With all the negative news that bombards us each day, it's a great exercise to force oneself to focus on something positive. Not all of us want to share our thoughts this publicly, but we admire her sentiment. As our pictured cutting board above says, "Be Thankful". We are certainly thankful for your support and encouragement; what better time to say it then now. So, thank you and we hope you have a wonderful, fun and family filled Thanksgiving!

Tom & Sheila Baker

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October 2011 Top Searches

Below is a summary of the twenty most popular search phrases last month.

1. amish
2. apothecary
3. portrait
4. ship model
5. corner
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8. cupboard
9. painted
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18. berry
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