Paint on silk, American, early to mid-19th century. Profusely decorated with symbols important to Masons, including the all seeing eye at the top, and pillars of LOVE, STRENGTH, WISDOM, AND BEAUTY. In very good condition with minor foxing/toning, colors remain vibrant. For a detailed analysis of the symbolism represented in Masonic art works, go to www.pagrandlodge.org/mlam/apron/. Beautifully presented in a fine period gold frame. Frame size about 19 inches tall x 17 3/4 wide.
Dr. James and Lavinia Hall, South Freeport, Maine, ca. early 19th century. Attributed to John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854). Oil on canvas. Dr. Hall painted half-length, in black coat with white vest and tie. Lavinia Hall also half-length, with bonnet and lace collar. Set within superb period black painted frames with decorated corners.....Brewster was a deaf painter that rendered beautiful and ethereal portraits, in no small part his skill manifesting from his deafness. He developed an ability to create likenesses that have been described as in this passage by the American Museum of Folk Art "Brewster was especially sensitive to the sitters face, emphasizing his or her direct gaze as a deaf artist, eye contact became a moment of engagement and communication". Brewster was also known for broad flat areas of color to complement the soft, expressive facial features. Frame sizes: 30 inches tall x 25 1/2 wide. Condition: Tack edges missing; minor edge loss to each canvas. Minor in painting. Relined on new stretchers. Frames not original to the paintings yet are period and wonderful. Restored by Michael Heslip, Williamstown Art Conservation Center, Inc. Full restoration report available. Provenance: Private collection. Accompanied by the photocopy of a letter, dated 1932, between two cousins, descendents of the Halls, describing how the paintings had been handed down through the family. High res photos available.
New England, ca. 1740-1760. Oval, overhanging top on a molded apron resting on turned and splayed legs joined by molded box stretcher raised on button feet. Early 19th century in-use oxidized blue paint, over original mid-18th century red. Paint has a very dry even patina. The two-board top has a crack following the grain caused by shrinkage. A single original peg remains in the top with screws that are "set in" replacing missing top pegs during its period of use. Very good paint coverage with wear on lower stretchers and feet. Height 25 1/2 inches; top 25 1/4 x 34 1/4. Rare and wonderful to find an early tavern baluster table with original paint history. The small size gives this piece flexibility in placing in the home, and the wonderful early paint would fit well with painted boxes and other folk art pieces.
New England, ca. mid 19th century or earlier. A larger firkin in blue paint with a most desirable and distinctive label in black paint of SAGE. Staved pine construction joined by cut nails with ash handle. The "period" at the end is important, as that convention seemed to disappear about the mid-19th century. In-use period wear, couple of minor losses on the lid, but nothing major. Very clean interior. About 11 inches tall to the top of the lid.
Gouache on paper, ca. 1860s. Attributed to port painter Luigi P. Renault of Leghorn (b. 1845). The JOHN SPEAR was built in Thomaston, Maine in 1849, sailed out of Rockland, Maine in the 1850's, and was home-ported out of New Orleans in 1861 when it sailed to Italy as the subject of this painting. Caption reads, in script: Ship "John Spear" from New Orleans, entering the port of Naples, March 9th 1861, J.S. Ingraham, Commander..... Bold and colorful and striking, this painting reflects the pride of American maritime commerce in the 19th century. The American flag, and the ship banner, stand out beautifully. Notable on the right is a ship bearing a mix of paddle/sail propulsion, as the transition occurred from wind to steam in the mid-19th century. Also note the crew members and passengers on the deck. Provenance: Sold in 1972 by Samuel L. Lowe, Jr, Boston, MA. This painting has been in a Rochester, NY collection since then. Pictured in the Magazine Antiques, page 339, February, 1972. Accompanied by a portfolio of background papers, and the Magazine Antiques from which it was originally pictured. Frame size about 36 inches x 28 inches. This painting has a stunning decorative and historical presence. Ask for high res photos to appreciate it.
Probably Rhode Island, ca. 1840-1850. Attributed to George Robert Lawton, Sr. (1813-1885) Scituate, Rhode Island. Pine top and bottom. Ash or chestnut sides. Beautifully and meticulously decorated with birds (roosters), vines, flowers, and polka dots on a mustard-yellow ground. Fingered lid above a steam-bent and scallop-carved fingered body, both lid and body joined with cut nails. About 8 3/4 inches long x 6 3/4 wide x 4 1/2 tall. Superb condition. For background on Lawton, Sr., see "American Radiance, The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Society", and "Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Vol II". .
Probably New England, 19th century. Paint on pine. Although difficult to portray photographically given the long length and narrow width, this trade sign is sensational. Gold against a black ground, this trade sign is unusual in its verticle format (likley positioned along a door frame), and desirable content. The soft palette is very pleasing, enhanced beautifully by weathering. The left edge is rounded; the right squared. Originally was attached via several screw holes through the front. Loss at the very bottom, yet below the last letter and not significant when viewed from the front. About 88 inches tall (7 feet, 4 inches) x 4 7/8 wide x 7/8 thick. Easily hung as it is very lightweight and has a hanging hook attached to the back. A perfect location would be on a narrow wall segment, or paralleling a door frame.
Likely Massachusetts, dated 1790, signed "Rhoderick Morley". Watercolor and ink on laid paper. Found years ago in an early desk with family papers in Massachusetts. Beautifully illustrated, likely school-boy created, with one well dressed gentleman firing a flintlock pistol, the other brandishing a sword, flanking multiple phrases possibly connected to healing political or social divisions still strong due to the Revolution and suggesting how one should live and act. One expression prominently at the top center "Let union and peace make discord cease" not only would seem to relate to the recently ended Revolutionary War, it is also an expression that was used by the Mayflower Society. Another phrase: "The wicked they must be dealt with in a more severe manner" might explain the sword and pistol. Paper size 14 3/8 x 11 3/4 inches. Frame size about 18 3/4 x 16 1/4. Condition strong with unobtrusive folds and minor losses. Full text and family information available upon request. From a home in Rochester, NY. A REMARKABLE PIECE OF AMERICAN HISTORY NEVER BEFORE OFFERED FOR SALE .