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About This Object

Mangle boards were originally used for ironing clothing, before being discarded for the flat iron. Mangles were widespread throughout Europe before the nineteenth century. When these mangles were collected by Frederick Horniman, they were still in use only in the Norwegian countryside. In the UK, they continued to be used in parts of Yorkshire, and also in Ireland. A mangle consisted of a long flat board, usually of fir tree wood, about two or three feet long, with a raised handle at one end and sometimes an additional handle or knob at the other end. If there is no second handle, a plain panel is left in the carving for the fingers to press against, giving weight to the mangle when used. The underside of the mangle is completely smooth. A mangle board was used with a roller driven over the clothes until they were smooth.

A mangle board was considered an essential item for all young housewives. The carved mangle board was often a gift given to a new bride by her husband, who would carve and paint the mangle, placing her initials on the flat panel of the board. The carved motifs on Norwegian mangles use a combination of scroll, geometric and floral designs.

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Carved wooden mangle board. It has a curved handle terminating in scroll shapes at each end. The panel decoration includes the figure of a bird and a basket of flowers.

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mangle board

1 item (description level: whole)
Additional names, titles, or classifications
classified as:  mangle boards
object name (Horniman Ethno.):  mangle board

Norway; Europe
Additional place information
made or collected:  Norway 
Horniman, Frederick John, Mr
Additional collector information
collector:   Horniman, Frederick John 
Additional culture information
Norwegian  (Norway)

Materials & techniques
Additional material & technique information
material: wood (overall)
overall: 640 x 110 x 160 mm
Additional measurement information
overall: 640 x 110 x 160 mm

vendor:  Deschamps, C., Mr  sale 1898

Related subjects
theme: Family and Home
classified as: mangle boards
object name (Horniman Ethno.): mangle boards
material: wood

Record created 1999-06-25 by RACHEL
Record last updated 2016-10-12 by XGVIEWS

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