Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hoo Doo That Voo Doo That You Do So Well?

This post features another object from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (American Decorative Arts) and fortunately, this one is on view for all to see. (The last MMA object posted was the Book Harmonium.) The object record from the Museum's website is below. I'm slightly embarrassed that they don't include the title in the catalog entry, because by some, that could be considered the best part and standard book cataloging practice - especially in this case, as this is one powerful blook! Let me introduce the Hoo Doo Bible in the form of a Bennington Book Flask:

Book flask
United States Pottery Company 
Date: 1849
Geography: New England, Bennington, Vermont, United States
Culture: American
Medium: Mottled brown earthenware
Dimensions: H. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Classification: Ceramics
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Stanley Herzman, 1984
Accession Number: 1984.395.12
On view in gallery 774

Bennington book flasks have been widely collected and published. They were popular novelty items made in both Rockingham and flint enamel, in many sizes. They frequently have titles impressed on the spine such as: Battle of Bennington, Bennington Ladies, Hermit’s Delight, Suffering and Death, Departed Spirits, Life of Kossuth and many others. All are hefty books with round spines with raised cords, corresponding concave foredges, squares, lines indicating pages on the edges. Some have more details than others, including endbands and tooled lines. 

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