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  DIMINUTIVE SETTEE IN KELLY GREEN PAINT WITH GILT STENCILED DECORATION, ATTRIBUTED TO A SLEDMAKER IN PARIS HILL, MAINE, CA 1890
Dimensions (inches): 32.75 t x 48" w x 15" d
Description:
DIMINUTIVE SETTEE IN KELLY GREEN PAINT WITH GILT STENCILED DECORATION, ATTRIBUTED TO A SLEDMAKER IN PARIS HILL, MAINE, CA 1890:

Paint-decorated, arrow back settee in kelly green paint with a flared crest rail. The legs, arms and spindles have yellow pinstriping and there is matching scrollwork on the front legs. The crest is decorated with copper and gold gilded flora on a black register. Found in Maine, the bench dates the late 19th century and has been attributed to the Paris Hill Manufacturing Company of Paris Hill, Maine, which is best-known for its painted sleds. Because sled-making was a seasonal business, other avenues needed to be pursued to create income during the rest of the year. As master carpenters and painters, many sled-makers turned to the manufacture of furniture and other wooden objects for homes and schools in the warmer months.

The settee is of a style similar in fashion to those made famous by companies such as Hitchcock, with decoration of the same genre. Hitchcock began in 1818 and closed in 2006. During this long expanse it produced styles not unlike this. Other New England makers copied the style during the early-mid 19th century, using colorful backgrounds and black or dark brown registers on crest rails, decorated with fruit and flora and other elements with either hand-painting or with gilded stencils. This bench has elements of the Hitchcock style, but it has a thick plank seat that is flat on the top and beveled below and not common of Hitchcock. The shape of the crest, color and overall form have a folk element more common to Maine, and the striping is more common in Maine furniture, a trait it shares with paint-decorated Pennsylvania chairs and settees.

Author Joan Palicia provides a brief history of what would become known as the Paris Manufacturing Company in her book "Flexible Flyer and other Great Sleds for Collectors" (1997, Schiffer Publishing, Pennsylvania). Like Hitchcock, Paris Mfg. had a long run, closing its doors in 1989. Palicia states:

"The Paris Manufacturing Company had modest beginnings. In 1861 a man named Henry Franklin Morton, starting with a hobby, began what would become the largest and longest operating sled company in American history… Living in West Sumner, Maine with his wife Lucilla…he started making rakes and non-steerable sleds as a hobby to make extra money. He assembled fifty sleds that his wife Lucilla hand painted in the family kitchen and they were successful in selling them. The following year, Mr. Morton formed a stock company and hired four employees…he was [later] invited to move his company to Paris Hill where he set up production under the name of Paris Hill Manufacturing Company. As business grew, so did the line of products. Go-carts, wagons, wheelbarrows, step ladders, ironing boards, children’s desks, furniture and more were added to keep the factory running all year long."

Morton eventually relocated to South Paris in order to be closer to the rail system and the word "Hill" was removed from the name at that time.

Condition: Modest, expected wear. The flat cross stretcher was extended slightly to correct a shrinkage issue. No wood was added and the repair was as unobtrusive as possible. Epoxy filler was used and a small amount of matching paint. Inquire for further details.
   
Primary Color: green
Earliest Date: 1885
Latest Date: 1895
For Sale Status: Sold
Price SOLD
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