Saturday, March 17, 2012

Limoges Boxes That Spur The Yee-Haw In Me

Limoges boxes have the uncanny ability to capture magic in and of themselves, while also encompassing a lifestyle or veritable world.  One miniature porcelain box can make you think about one simple idea, but then take your mind on a quick travel back to the place from which that item irrevocably originated and the whole culture or movement behind it.

One American icon that I am drawn to through particular Limoges boxes is the Texas cowboy -- the ranch-working, cattle-herding, levi-wearing, horse-riding men who are easily identifiable and dedicated to the long-standing Lone-Star way in their homes on the range.

A cowboy's job is busy from dawn to dusk, marking cattle, checking pastures, tending to fences, weaning calves, roping bulls, moving herds from one place to another for sale, and tending to their land's produce such as grain and cotton. 

The daily work of a cowboy, maintaining their land and livelihood, is less ascribable than the style they adopt while doing it.  There is the hat with the 4-inch brim and leather string that ties under their chin, the leather belt with the handmade chunky buckle, the heavy chaps that cover them from waist to ankle, the collared long-sleeve cotton button up shirt, the 12-17 inch high pointed and heeled leather boots complete with spur, and the 30-foot nylon rope at their side.  This seems like a lot to wear, but being covered up is critical, as in the Texas outback, especially in the summer, everything either bites, sticks or stings.
Probably the most treasured tool of the cowboy trade is their horse.  It takes tedious and patient training through repetition to develop a bond with their horse and to bring them to a place where they can be a great partner for everyday work.  Once they are carefully selected and broken in there is a special bond between a cowboy and his horse.  To be able to communicate with their horse allows them to react harmoniously as one.

The stereotype associated with the Texas cowboy probably originated with the big cattle empires starting in the late 1870's and early 1880's .  You will find that very little has changed in the lifestyle from then to now -- it is neither modern nor antiquated ... just simple and natural.

Mosey on down to to visit these pieces and tip your hat to America's own folk hero that is still as real, alive, tough, and bowlegged in 2012 as in 1870.

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