A Mid-Victorian Folk Art Slate Letter Press; 'Watch and Pray' c.1860-70

Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-70
Width: 4”
Height: 6”
Depth: 1.25”

The mid-Victorian provincial thick slate modelled as a bible, the top engraved 'Watch and Pray' with seven graduated incised lines below, to a double ruled border filled with dots, the black surface beautifully worn with age, and surviving from the third quarter on nineteenth century England.

The piece is in totally original order with its lovely time-worn appearance being commensurate with age and use. It would now work beautifully well as a book-end, paperweight, or simply as a mantelpiece objets d'art. We cannot find a comparable example.

The text hails from Matthew 26:41 which in full reads “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Best explained by these two words being kept together ie: Watching without praying is like getting a diagnosis without a prescription. Praying without watching is like being in a pharmacy without knowing what’s wrong with you. The medicine you need is available, but you don’t know what to ask for.

Folksy, authentic and unique with a rather haunting undertone; perfect.