Carved mystery antique - ID needed before I go nuts
September 15, 2016 7:09 PM   Subscribe

I found this mystery object in a box at an antique/junk shop in Mississauga, Ontario and I'm wondering if anyone out there has any idea it is. Imgur Album

It's 9 and a half inches long, carved in black walnut. At first glance, it seemed like a decorative corner from a piece of rustic furniture but it's slotted right through in a rough way, not in a way that would allow for a matching tenon to fit into it. It seems more like rope or fabric was intended to pass through. There's what looks like rope wear to the slot at the wide end, ragging it out a fair bit. On the back, plain side, there's a shallow mortise and a pair of drilled holes meeting up with it that would allow someone to easily feed a heavy cord through. The back side shows a fair bit of uneven wear, apart from the overall weathering. There's no wear to indicate that it was ever anything like a furniture leg and I can't see any indication that it broke off a larger object.

Sorry if the lighting is a little harsh.
posted by bonobothegreat to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Mr. SLC suggests that it is a hook for a chandelier rope.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:46 PM on September 15, 2016

Possibly an endpiece to a tapestry hanger. The cord the tapestry is attached through goes through the slot, and there is a missing matching opposite end.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:55 PM on September 15, 2016

Despite its roughness, it really looks like a carving from a pew or something like that. The open slot would have held a thin slab of wood that made the side or back.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:58 PM on September 15, 2016

Thanks for the replies so far. I was cleaning it this morning and noticed small holes that allowed a narrow pin (or nail) to pass through from the back side.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:26 AM on September 16, 2016

It may come from an antique vanity, around or over the mirror. I have my grandmother's vanity and it's got wood frou-frou pieces around it. Some are part of the dresser, some are separate like the piece you show. The small hole could mean it slides over the glass, then is nailed to the backing wood, or screwed in somehow.
posted by jhope71 at 11:51 AM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks again. Looks like it will remain a mystery. Wear around the small holes for the lashing suggest that it was sliding up and down a pole or beam behind it. The slot on the wide end is definitely worn but there's not much evidence of wear to the rest of interior of the slot. It's construction is too light to have withstood a solid object being jammed in and out, I think.

For now, I'm going to go with hardware for curtain cords or something. It seems too rustic to have been around chandeliers or tapestries.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:14 PM on September 17, 2016

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