It is hard to believe it is September 1st and the Labor Day Holiday is this weekend. Last week, Julia and I headed off to Newburyport to sneak a couple days of vacation in before school began again. We had a great time visiting our friends Rose Ann, Kristin and Leslie. Newburyport is on the north shore of Boston. It is a very old town that is very beautiful. It is loaded with amazing big and small very old houses. The downtown area is vibrant and full of life.
One day, Julia and I headed off to Cogswell's Grant. I had heard about this historic home years ago and have been meaning to visit it. It is owned by Historic New England (formerly SPNEA). The home was built in 1728 and is the former home of Nina and Bertram Little who were early collectors of Early American Folk Art.
First off - you just have to love the color of the house - Pumpkin Orange! It is so distinctive, isn't it?
The Littles collected Early American Antiques when there was a large supply available - not like now when it is really difficult to find and afford old things. The home is filled with pottery, furniture, primitive folk art paintings, textiles, and more. It is arranged as they lived with their things. The home is a bit crowded and dark but it is a great place full of visual delights. It was their summer home and is not winterized. There is no air conditioning (and it was hot). I do not know if it is handi-capped accessible - I tend to doubt it because the stairs are very steep and they have kept the place as it was in the 1800's. There is a big beautiful barn that houses the welcome center and tells the long story of the property and all the inhabitants before the Littles. The site can also be rented for weddings and special events.
I found this photo of Nina and Bertram on the Historic New England website.
I loved this old sideboard with painted decoration.
Isn't this woman pretty?
Here are a selection of the needlework pieces I found inspiring:
|Hooked spotted cat rug at Cogswell's Grant. The paws are huge.|
|Part of the border of the hooked cat rug|
These three photos are details of an embroidered bedcover that came from Italy, New York. I loved the motifs.
|A hooked rug serving as a mat on a chest. Love the different heights.|
|Another rug which we had to step gingerly around.|
|A needlepoint cushion featuring dogs and flora|
The Littles had a huge collection of wooden boxes. Here is a pretty one.
I loved these hat boxes covered with wallpaper.
I am crazy over the painted decoration on this old blanket chest.
These photos are from Nina's tiny study where she wrote her books on a typewriter. I loved the wallpaper.
Nina Little wrote several books on antiques that are still available. Little by Little is her story about how they built their collection. This is a good article about both of them and their contributions to collecting Early American art antiques.
If you ever get to the North Shore of Boston during the summer, I highly recommend a trip to Cogswell's Grant in Essex, Massachusetts. The town is also full of many good antique shops.
I hope you all enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend if you are in North America. So hard to believe summer is almost over.