Chris Crosby’s fine contribution to this year’s CLF auction represents, he explains, “a piece that would have been carried by a man of middling means, to service his smooth rifle or fowler.” The body of the bag is made from vegetable tanned calfskin and the bindings on the flap and at the throat of the bellows panel are bark tanned sheepskin. The bag’s rich coloring was achieved with the artist’s own resourceful mix of crushed willow and oak charcoal, bear oil, clay, water-based dye, pine tar, and beeswax. “I try to achieve colors that are historically accurate,” says Crosby, “with a nice warm, aged patina.”
The bag’s hair-on the flap is calfskin, and the flap lining is a reproduction coverlet remnant, which Crosby explains is intended to represent a “remnant bed covering that would have been hand loomed here in the colonies, and repurposed after many years of good service.” The bag’s strap is robust vegetable tanned cowhide and carries a simple hand tooled motif. The brass half D buckle, Crosby says, “was in common use mid to late 18th century and could easily have been repurposed from prior military service.”
“The CLA,” says the artist, “is a dream come true for me. All my life I have had a passionate interest in the history, the material cultural of the day-to-day lives of our ancestors, and the preservation of the heritage of this great country. The CLA for me is a great way to contribute to the preservation of the culture and history of the greatest nation on earth.”
For more information on the work of Chris Crosby, contact the artist directly at:
Copy and photos supplied by the CLF.
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