Oh, I want a bench for my garden! With a few cushions and wrapped in three layers of mosquito netting I would be happy on this bench. It is the form known as a vendebenk and was made in Norway by Olaus Engelstrup.
The center carving of a daisy and foliage is framed by carved script (with the back flipped over the writing on the bottom is now right-side up). The carving was done on panels pieced together, not on one long board. The ornamentation on the bench edge and stretchers can also now be seen.
Olaus used the turning top of the vendebenk to full advantage. Along the top edge of the back is a boar hunting scene with more foliage at the bottom edge.
The top script for anyone interested in translating the Latin.
The script along the bottom edge (spliced together). Click on the image for a closer view.
Chaucer was enamored with the daisy, a flower that is open during the day (“eye of the day”) and closes at night. Like Chaucer, I don’t have words “suffisaunt this floure (or bench) to praise aright.”
Several months ago Klaus Skrudland sent me the link that led to finding this bench. Thanks, Klaus!
All photos are from the Norsk Folkmuseum.
You can read about some French, German and Swedish versions of the vendebenk here.