Likely New Hampshire, dated 1810 at the bottom, the sitter identified as "James N. Sinter". Watercolor on paper. Attributed to the seldom found, highly sought after artist known only as "Mr Willson" (aka 'Wilson'). Similar portraits by Mr. Willson are in the collection of the New York State Historical Society, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston); Currier Art Gallery; the Shelburne Museum and in private collections. Subjects in Mr. Willson portraits are typically bust-length, three quarter view turned to the right, against a neutral background. Facial features have the profile of the nose, upper eyelid and mouth delineated as a single line. This portrait shows a stylishly dressed, most handsome young James with blue eyes and reddish hair. Early tears were professionally paper-conserved long ago, likely when framed by the Philadelphia Print Shop. Scattered foxing and toning. Frame size about 24 1/2 inches x 20 inches; sight size about 19 inches x 14. See A Loving Likeness, American Folk Portraits of the Nineteenth Century, The Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Susan and Ray Egan; and Folk Art's Many Faces, Portraits in the New York State Historical Association, for reference. Portraits by Mr. Willson have a look and feel that stands out as very special. I love this portrait. Provenance: The important collection of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch.
New England, ca. 1830-1840. Paint on velvet. Strong visual appeal, retaining brilliant, bright unfaded saturated colors and crisp, clean composition, the flowers bursting from the bulging, stylized basket with delightfully exaggerated in-curved sides, the basket resting on graduated steps simulating smoke decoration. Fancy theorems were painted in this period as gifts for friends or to brighten one's home, the still life often chosen as the subject as a symbol of abundance, and velvet for its soft appearance. Painstakingly rendered with exceptional skill by a talented artist. Period frame dimensions of about 22 3/4 inches wide x 21 tall. Remarkable condition; light toning. Provenance: Peter Tillou.
New England, 18th century, 1740-1780. Mixed woods which appear to be maple, cherry, and mahogany with original rich, deep surface and color. Threaded post with adjustable chip-carved rail fitted with original iron candle holders above a scarce medial "table", perhaps to hold extra candles, wick trimmers, etc. All supported by a plinth with tripod raking legs. The carved screw mechanism allowed candles, and medial table, to be raised and lowered to just the right height to optimize precious candle light. In a very high state of originality. The screw mechanism continues to work smoothly. The underside of the medial table is beautifully tooled (see close up photo of its underside). About 32 inches total height. Ex-WADSWORTH ATHENEUM, Hartford (accession number painted on 26.522). PICTURED IN WALLACE NUTTING,1928, plate 1359. Provenance: Private New England collection; Hollis Broderick.
American, 19th century. This sensational example stands apart from most as it is turned and carved from WOOD, not zinc or cast-iron as typically encountered in this form, with wood being oh so more desirable than its metal counterparts. Very appealing gilt-paint bezel and side-wall with original dry, crackled oyster white and black paint on the clock face. The hanging ring, which also retains original gilt paint, is fashioned from iron and exhibits deep wear at the point in which the ring contacted a hanger. Exceptional condition with one side being somewhat more worn; structurally mint. A sensational example of this form that hung-outside the jewelry/watch store to beckon passersby. Being carved from wood and original dry paint would make this sign at home in an early folk art or early paint collection. Smaller size at about 14 inch diameter x 21 inches to the top of the hanging ring and 2 1/2 inches at the molded edge. Looks great hung or lying flat on a chest or table..
Seeking special examples of 18th/19th century woodenware in original paint. Please email photos to email@example.com, or call 585-385-9002.
Probably Connecticut, ca. 1870-1880. Oil on canvas. The proud owners/workers standing before the Shea and McCarthy Blacksmithing and Jobbing Shop joined with the C.S. Gamwell Carriage Shop. As with most folk art paintings of PRIDE in town or business, the artist has depicted an idealistic view, with no disrepair or debris, and has effectively used rich primary colors of blue in the sky with puffy white clouds contrasted against the reds of the clothing and carriages. The scene shows workers with tools; the blacksmith with leather apron. Of note is the ramp alongside the carriage shop which would allow carriages or wagons to be pulled to the second level for repair, perhaps providing access to the undersides. Excellent condition, cleaned with minor retouch. Original stretcher and likely original frame. Unlined except for tack-edges. Sight size about 30 inches x 22. Overall frame size about 34 x 27.
American, likely Pennsylvania, ca. 3rd quarter, 19th century. Appears to be walnut. Original, remarkable, bold, fanciful decoration by a skilled ornamental painter who likely painted game boards and signs. As with other imaginative and innovative works of art, this piece has significance as being an original creation, not a copy of other works, and a contrast to the subdued color palettes typical of that period, i.e., avant-garde, edgy, and beautiful. Solid, sturdy construction with thumbnail molding about the perimeter, the pegs firmly tenoned through the backboard. Excellent condition with appropriate wear on the pegs. Note diminutive size of just 19 1/4 inches long x 2 3/4 tall with pegs depth of 4 1/2 inches. May have been used for hanging clothing or textiles, and perhaps even as a "gameboard for rings". Provenance: Virginia Pope Cave, David Schorsch, private Connecticut collection..
New England, discovered decades ago in Massachusetts. 18th century. Pine and linen, the top and bottom panels profusely carved, retaining untouched rich natural patina, the two panels joined by a circle of long wooden pins about the perimeter. The top panel is centered by a leather-hinged door, the leather held by rose-head nails (the leather long ago worn through). Retains the original carved turnbuckle clasp, and door finial. The wooden pins form the structure around which thick linen (with likely cotton batting within) are wrapped. The linen wrap is the foundation upon which the lace is crafted using pins to hold the lace in place. The inside of the ball functions as a box, holding carved wooden tools (two present) that provided tension to lace-threads. The door is decorated with an elaborate petal design that is repeated under the base. A substantial piece of about 8 1/2 inches diameter x 5 tall, and pleasingly weighty in-hand. This is an exceedingly rare Americana survival.
Pennsylvania. ca. late 18th/early 19th century. Watercolor on laid paper. Confidentally attributed to Daniel Otto (1770-1820) the most talented of the four sons of Johann Henrich Otto (1733-1800), one of the Pennsylvania Germans' seminal fraktur artists, who took up his father's art along with his brothers. Born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Daniel's work surpassed his brothers' with the intensity of his colors and the striking nature of his designs. This fraktur vividly portrays a stylized, exotic parrot set among flowers. Note the cool treatment of the claws. Colors remain bright and saturated. Set within a 19th century carved walnut frame, not original to the fraktur, yet a terrific presentation. The frame about 8 inches x 6. The fraktur itself about 4 inches x 3.
HANNAH BROWN. Dated 1780. Primarily wool and silk. Of a small, delicate size for a pocket, this exceptional embroidered flame-stitch-variant pocket is rarer than similarly crafted pocketbooks. Representative of the best American needlework. Beautiful, labor-intensive textiles for personal adornment were amongst the most valuable possessions in the 18th century and a symbol of status. Probably made by Hannah for her own use, imagine her wearing this pocket at the finest gatherings. And like samplers, needlework accomplishments were often part of a young woman's dowry. Handsomely mounted for presentation yet also easily removed from the mount if desired. The pocket is about 7 inches wide x 10 1/4 to the top of the silk hanger. Mounting is about 12 3/4 inches x 9 3/4. Excellent condition with minor losses. Reference: "Worldly Goods, the Arts of Early Pennsylvania", Philadelphia Museum of Art, and "What Clothes Reveal", Baumgarten, Colonial Williamsburg. A beautiful object that would be unique in a modern or classical decor with the character of almost 250 years of history.