Monday, March 19, 2012

The Dog at the Mill: Courtenay

My colleague Dorothy Merritts sent me a fascinating response to last posting The Dog at the Mill. I quote here: "I checked your blog and am intrigued. In fact, I did a search on dog and mill, carving, and the name of the artist (Courtenay) who carved the mantel at the Powell house, and you will be amazed at what I found: This particular website indicates that there are links among Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac, Aesop's fable "The Dog and the Meat", mills, millers, iron forges, Stiegel, and more. The iron forges, incidentally, also built dams to use water power to run bellows, turn various things, etc. All iron forges have dams and led to the industrialization of waterways, even though the use of water power had a different outcome than, say, a flour or fulling mill. Regardless though, a stream was dammed and a pond formed that could trap sediment, burying original wetlands, and later leading to deeply incised powerful streams where meadows once were the habitat of bog turtles and sedges." Thank you Dorothy

The image above is clearly the same as the one at the Powel House. It's provenance is amazingly enough from Lancaster County. "Front plate of a ten-plate stove, marked “h. w. stiegel/ 1769/elizabeth furnace,” Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, ca. 1769. (Courtesy, Hershey Museum, Hershey, Pennsylvania.) Courtenay undoubtedly carved the pattern in Philadelphia."

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States