Object Lesson | Costa Rican Ox-Cart Festival Wagon

Porch Nook's "Object Lessons" is a series of short articles sharing my vintage and antique finds over the years, containing just enough information to make you dangerous at the local flea market. Happy hunting!

Porch Nook's Object Lesson | Costa Rican Ox-Cart Festival Wagon

Value as of 3/8/20, $225 - $275*. I will never forget the moment I came across this international treasure. My jaw dropped, my pulse quickened and I proclaimed my love immediately! Protected from the rain on a stormy Wisconsin morning, the kind couple hosting the garage sale took the time to share its history with me.

Porch Nook's Object Lesson | Costa Rican Ox-Cart Festival Wagon

This vintage** piece of Costa Rican folk art is a donkey-cart originally used for the Ox-cart Parade in San Antonio de Escazu. Famed as "Dia de las Boyeros", or "the parade of the Boyeros (cow herders)", it takes place every second Sunday of March. They pay tribute to the drivers and their oxen of the past. It signifies the progress made by Costa Rica, as the oxcarts served to be their very first means of conveyance on roads.

Porch Nook's Object Lesson | Costa Rican Ox-Cart Festival Wagon

The hand painted decoration of the carts started in the twentieth century, by the wife of one cart makers, who ornamented her husband’s cart with beautiful patterns and colors. Since then every cart is treated like a canvas, and is painted in true Costa Rican colors. No design was ever duplicated and it became a practice. Also, every cart is prepared in such a way that when it moves, a peculiar sound is produced as its metal ring struck the hub-nut of the wheel. This made every cart unique and enabled its owner to recognize his cart.

Porch Nook's Object Lesson | Costa Rican Ox-Cart Festival Wagon

With no metal hardware to be found, this piece uses a slat system that slide apart with ease, similar to a jigsaw puzzle, allowing you to customize the size of the wagon. True to the original design, the spoke-less wheels were designed to slice their way through muddy paths which made travel slow and hard.

Hitch closed 36”L x 22”D x 22”T
Hitch open 69”L x 22”D x 22”T


*For the sake of transparency, Porch Nook in not an antiquities dealer, nor do we specialize in antiques. However, for many years we've gained experience acquiring and selling old stuff, and hung around a lot of people who also like to acquire and sell old stuff. We gotta tell'ya, they're our kind of people...smart, creative, not shy and will tell you what's what. 

**The common expectation of a "VINTAGE" item is to have a date or decade applied to it. Accordingly, most experts in the trade have decided that the term "VINTAGE" refers to items that are over 50 years old, but less than 100. This kind of standard works when dealing with truly old, but not antique, items. However, this falls short when using the term to describe something newer, and from a specific era. For example, Etys.com's policy states any item at least 20 years old to be “VINTAGE”. Click here to learn more about the differences between "ANTIQUE" and "VINTAGE".

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