Decorative Arts

Scrapbook

Image of scrapbook.

1891
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Miss Avis Hubbard, 1963.57

Twenty-five-year-old Rosa Dietz Hubbard of Mason City assembled this scrapbook in 1891 from colorful trade cards, scraps, and greeting cards.

Linen Shirt

Image of linen shirt.

1846
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of the O.M. Hatch family,

This shirt was made by Salome Enos for her son, Zimri Enos, to wear to his wedding on June 10, 1846. Salome and her husband, Pascal, came to Springfield in 1823 and became one of the first four landowning families of the town. Their son, Zimri, briefly practiced law before becoming a surveyor and civil engineer.

Toothpick and Case

image of bone toothpick and corncob case
When Elihu and Sophronia Thorpe moved to Illinois from New York in 1841, they brought this bone toothpick and corncob case with them. It had belonged to Sophronia’s grandfather, Alexander Osborn, who served in the Revolutionary War. According to family legend, Alexander had carved the toothpick and case while he was in camp, sometime around 1780.

Watch Chain

Image of watch chain.
This watch chain was made by James M. Daigh of Perry, Illinois, when he was mining gold in California in 1849. Daigh, a native of Virginia, had settled in Illinois during the 1820s and amassed more than 200 acres of land in Pike County.

Duck Decoy

Image of duck decoy carved by Robert Elliston, ca. 1900.
This decoy of a mallard hen was carved by Robert Elliston (1847-1925), one of the earliest commercial decoy makers and widely considered to be the father of the Illinois River decoy carving tradition. In 1882, Elliston began creating lightweight, realistic decoys for the sportsman who visited the Undercliff Hotel in Putnam County, a popular hunting spot along the Illinois River flyway. His wife, Catherine, painted the ducks with realistic patterns that were soon copied by other painters.

Easel

Image of easel carved by Kate Baker, ca. 1880.
This home easel would have been used in a Victorian parlor to showcase paintings, drawings, prints, or other framed items. A functional piece of furniture, the easel is also a work of great artistry, elaborately hand-carved with stylized floral motifs.

Rocking Chair

Image of Windsor-style rocking chair that belonged to Conrad Will, namesake of Will County.
This Windsor-style rocking chair belonged to Conrad Will, a co-author of Illinois’ 1818 constitution and the namesake of Will County.

Miner’s Hat

Image of Miner's hat.

1925
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Morton Barker, Jr., 2002.031.0002

Mining hats provided some protection from soot and dust, but their main function was to serve as a place to mount a lamp, which was essential for working underground. This hat would have had a carbide lamp attached to the metal piece over the bill. Carbide lamps burned more cleanly and brightly than oil lamps, although the open flames still posed a danger with the potential of igniting methane gas underground.

Amputation Kit

Image of surgeon's amputation kit.

c. 1860
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Gerry Waite and the grandchildren of Dr. John Miles Waite, 1998.126a-b

Dr. John Miles Waite used this amputation kit as a surgeon on the 1st Illinois Cavalry during the Civil War. Waite was born in Richfield, Ohio, in 1834. He later attended the Cleveland College of Medicine and then opened a pharmacy in St. Louis. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted as a private to escape domestic discord with his young bride. After the war, he divorced his wife and moved to Mound City, Illinois, where he became one of Pulaski County’s first physicians.

Grease Bucket

Image of wooden grease bucket.

1829
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of the descendants of John Quincy Foster, 1994.61

This bucket contained animal fat or tar used to grease the wheels of the ox-drawn wagon that transported John Ivins Foster and his family to Illinois from Kentucky in November 1829. Foster, a gunsmith and farmer by trade, settled in Curran township, Sangamon County, where he eventually amassed more than 360 acres.

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