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19th C Make-do Homespun Grain Bag Table Runner

19th C Make-do Homespun Grain Bag Table Runner
19th C Make-do Homespun Grain Bag Table Runner

19th C Make-do Homespun Grain Bag Table Runner
19th C Make-do Homespun Grain Bag Table Runner

I fell in love with this piece the minute I found it at auction in Montgomery County, PA.   It represents a culture where nothing that could still be used was ever thrown out, where people “made do” with the materials they had at hand to fashion a utilitarian piece for everyday farm life.

This piece appears to have started life as an early 19th C grain bag as evidence by the seams on both sides, as well as the hand done eyelets through which a cord was threaded in order to tie the bag.  But the biggest piece of evidence that lead us to that conclusion is the name “Samuel Schull.” stenciled on the homespun linen itself.  Grain bags were usually dropped at the local mill to be filled and picked up at a later time.  Stamping the bag with a definitive emblem like an eagle, owl or a horse (among others) was one way to let the miller know who the bag belonged to.  A more common way was to just stencil the owner’s name on the front of the bag.

The linen, although still course in nature, is of a somewhat finer weave than we usually see in grain bags, which might make one pose the question was this a grain bag or fire bag?  Whichever the case, it was re-utilized as a table runner later on by cutting it down and adding a fancy crocheted cotton edging.  That the maker used the part of the bag that bore the owner’s name is a mystery, unless the piece was actually a gift for the owner (or husband) of the bag made by a loving wife who just could not bear to throw that part away.

Measuring 24 inches in length by 19 inches wide, it is in excellent condition with one old mend done right near one of the hand-done eyelets.  It’s got that nice warm patina that homespun linen sometimes acquires with age.

Both utilitarian and fanciful, this wonderful make-do is a must-have addition for an advanced collection of homespun culture.

Price: SOLD

The items featured here are a small sampling of our inventory. If you are looking for a particular item, it may be in the shop so don't hesitate to contact me. Also, do check the photos under the "Shop & Shows" feature page, as you may spot an item in one of them that speaks to your collecting sensibility.

Also, don't hesitate to ask for more photos of a piece..Or ask as many questions as you like about it.

Terms and Conditions of Sale:

Personal checks, money orders, cashiers checks. Personal checks require a 7 business day bank clearance period. Unless prior arrangements have been made, payment must be received within 7 days or item will be re-offered for sale.

I guarantee all items to be as described. I try to be as thorough and meticulous in my descriptions as possible, and will gladly send additional photos as well as answer any questions about a piece in order to avoid return of merchandise.

In the event there is a discrepancy with respect to an item's representation, I must be notified within 48 hours of receipt of the piece. Upon notification, and my approval, the item must be returned within 7 days in the condition it was received in order to receive a refund less shipping and insurance.

Pennsylvania residents must pay 6% sales tax unless they possess a valid resale number.

Shipping and Handling:
Purchaser is responsible for all shipping, handling and insurance costs. I ship via the best and lowest priced carrier for the piece. Pickup of items at The Black Angus in Adamstown, Pennsylvania is a possibility depending on circumstances.

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