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Thanks to the preserved inscriptions we managed to determine the names of five master-builders (Baumeister - B.M.) in Nizina Sartowicko-Nowska - Fr. Böhnke, K. L. Luske, J. Rathler, Becher and Alensko. However, none of these names is present in the available literature on the region and in the 19th century address books.
Only the name Becher is related to the Mennonite religious group[1]. The available photo of the no longer existing inscription does not allow identification of the first name, but the Becher family is known in villages in the southern part of Nizina[2]. It would confirm the existence of a local workshop.
The building constructed by Becher had a corner-notched construction with the farm section in one row (illustration 33 ) and a prominent timber-frame pointing sill with windows. It was separated from the farm section with a brick fire wall. The collar and purlin roof truss had purlins forming the longitudinal frame. The detail was characterised by windows with a window cross and a triangular pediment, by frame and panel shutters with two equal panels and by frame and panel doors without any decorative elements. The interior was divided traditionally into a hallway with a 'black kitchen', a summer and a winter kitchen, a chamber and a representative room. The owner of the house must have been a peasant, having a large farm. The constructor Becher knew his profession well, although he based on traditional model, worked out already in the second quarter of the 19th century. He attached more importance to function than to decoration, a rare example of which was the inscription.
Another important fact is the signature of houses in Mątawy 28 and 54 by one person - Fr. Böhnke. Although the homestead no. 28 is dispersed (with an arcade extensions) and 54 belongs to the joint linear type, those houses have a lot of common features. Their number is the evidence of considerable wealth of their owners (the homestead no. 54 is almost 60 meters long). Both were built in the thirties of the 19th century, before the enfranchisement, in the same village.
The homestead Mątawy 28 stands with its ridge to the road and the homestead 54 with its gable to it. The similarity remains however in the spatial layout. Due to the conservation documentation of 1967 we know the almost original layout of the no. 54, with the still preserved 'black kitchen'[3]. Both sites were double-bay, had the hallway in the longitudinal wall. Next to it a 'black kitchen' and a kitchen room were situated. In the back bay there was a winter kitchen, with a second entrance. On both sides of the hallway were rooms and chambers. In the gable wall was the third exit.
These houses are the first to bear traces of the Classicistic architecture in this region. The arcade in the no. 28 is situated on four stylised columns. In both houses the slats covering the wall quoins are rusticated. Windows with a post have additional partition creating double-cased, three-level panes. Such windows are preserved in the northern elevation of the cottage no. 54. From the known iconography we know that the no. 28 originally also had such windows. Both houses are characterised by a decorative floral motive. In the cottage no. 54 the concave form of a flower appears in the shutters (illustration 78 ); a similar motive, but in relief, was probably also in the second cottage[4]. Due to the lack of iconography it is difficult to verify, but the no longer existing door in the gable wall certainly had such decoration (illustration 71)[5]. The similarity is also visible in the finishing of the gable. Boarded (in Mątawy 28 the joints of boards are covered with slats), it is divided in two levels. In the upper part were two windows of equal size. Under them, in the lower row, are four windows. Two middle ones are identical with the upper windows and side windows are smaller. In the no. 54 the gable ends with a rhomboidal orifice and in the no. 28 the orifice is square. In this cottage there is additionally a typical fan-shaped Classicistic window in the gable of the arcade extension, crowned with a pazdur in form of a simplified volute. Both homesteads have analogical moulding of tie-beams' ends and moulds under the eaves repeating the same motive (illustration 91, 92). Both inscriptions are located in the lintel of the exit from the back bay.
Did the master-builder Böhnke built other houses in this area? Some elements indicate similarity with a no longer existing house with an arcade extension in Zajączkowo (illustration 37 , illustration 69 , illustration 85 ). Here we also find rustication covering corners, a volute motive as the pazdur crowning the gable, or rosette motive in relief.
Even if these are only two houses, it is the second master-builder after Peter Loewen, a constructor from Żuławy[6], who signed more than one building and his work may be subject to comparative analysis.
In some cases, even with the lack of inscription, similarities between sites are so important that it is difficult to talk about different workshops. The largest analogies are between the sites in Wielki Lubień 47 and Osiek 5, two very big homesteads where residential and farm sections are connected. Similar internal layouts, unique (on the scale of the entire colonisation) location of a mansard roof in the roof surface, giving space for rooms, moulding of slats under the eaves, although different, constituting the most developed form in this area, and finally doors in the ridge and gable walls almost identical in both houses and having no equivalent in this zone, allow a conclusion that they were made by one workshop.
We know that in Nizina Sartowicko-Nowska several master-builders were active. High level of carpenter maters' artistry was characterised by frequent drawing from the forms of architecture combined with rural motives.
Baumeister Becher is an example of local master-builder, originating from the Mennonite community, although only one house is signed with his name. Others belonged to other religious group or did not live in this area. Fr. Böhnke drew mainly from Classicistic forms, although he simplified them. A proof of versatility is the construction of a house being the latest stage of Olęder homestead development (detached with an arcade extension in the ridge), as well as the example of the connected residential and farm section.

[1] Only the name is listed in the census of Mennonites in Mątawy-Grupa gmina in 1740 (Wiebe) and 1800-1840 (Goertz). In case of the later we find Wilhelm Becher with his family, sons Wilhelm (born in 1809) and Heinrich (born in 1827) born in Dziewięć Włók. Compare: Ibidem; H. Wiebe, op. cit., p. 73.
[2] They are listed in Dragacz, Wielkie Stwolno and Dziewięć Włók. Compare: A, Goertz, Mennonitenhöfe 1839 im Regierungsbezirk Marienwerde, Altpr. Geschlechterkunde NF, 1998, Bd. 28 Jg.46, p. 109; idem, Taufen 1781-1813 in der Mennonitengemeinde Montau, Kreis Schwetz/Wesppreussen, Altpr. Geschlechterkunde NF, 1998, Bd. 28, Jg. 46, p. 136; idem, Mennonite Families in the Montau-Gruppe Schonsee...
[3] Historic Monuments of Architecture and Construction registry Card, Mątawy 54, elaborated by A. Łabecka, U. Sochaczewska, 1967.
[4] Compare: E. Sekuła-Tauer, Charakterystyczne elementy detalu..., op. cit., p. 117.
[5] The floral motive appears in form of a simplified rosette also in other buildings, but as an element in relief it was only in the door of the no longer existing house in Zajączkowo.
[6] J. Stankiewicz, Piotr Loewen-budowniczy żuławski, "Ochrona Zabytków", 1956, no. 1, p. 73-87; L. Krzyżanowski, Wpływ neoklasycyzmu na podcieniowe budownictwo Żuław Gdańskich. Budowniczy Piotr Loewen, "Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki", vol. VIII, 1963, no. 1, p. 63-79; K. Soczewica, Die Häuser Peter Loewens im Werder und ihre denkmalpflegerische Problematik, [in:] Vermittlung von Dokumentationsmethoden an Baudenkmalen, Oldenburg 1997, p. 165-262

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