New England, ca. 1822-1830. Watercolor and ink on paper, in what appears to be the original period frame. The artist effectively used arbitrary scale: note the relative sizing of the lady, the church, the home. Memorials were typically created by young ladies while attending a seminary, where the well-educated girl was expected to master the basics of drawing, painting, embroidery, and penmanship. A memorial would have been influenced by the instructor and by the tenets of Romanticism learned from the popular authors of the day (the content of art comes from the imagination of the artist, not defined by a set of "rules"). They were often created years after the events they depicted as gifts for family or close friends. The home with its red door, three floors of green windows, and stylized trees has striking similarity to a Fitchburg, Massachusetts family record that I once owned, which is pictured on page 40 of "The Art of the Family". Colors are rich and saturated with impressive finely painted detail. The large tree bordering the right side, and bushes below it, are "PIN-PRICKED" to give the leaves dimensionality (simulating embroidery). The winged angel adds considerable interest. By the late 1830's many of the young ladies' seminaries had been replaced by public schools with emphasis on academic subjects rather than art, and Romanticism was replaced by the Industrial Revolution and Realism, so few examples of this exceptional artistic merit are seen after this period. Deserving of the best of folk art collections. Frame size about 16 3/4 inches wide x 13 inches tall. HAPPY TO EMAIL HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS.
Likely Northeast, ca. 1820-1840. The larger bowl, in maple, has a pronounced foot, with no cracks despite strong shrinkage across the grain. Incised lines of decoration and molded rim. The color is yellow in bright light, more "mustard" in subdued light. Diameter 10 inches x 9 3/8. Height varies from 3 1/4 to 3 5/8......The smaller bowl, in what appears to be chestnut, is thinly lathe-turned, and shows burnished tool marks where the lathe-block was chiseled from the bottom. In a thin yellow paint. Also excellent condition with no cracks and good shrinkage, the diameter about 8 7/8 x 8 3/8, the height about 2 3/8 to 2 3/4 inches. .
Massachusetts, ca. 1830. Oil on canvas in original frame with a high-state of originality. The confident young woman is identified on the back of the canvas as LENORA FISH of UPTON, MASSACHUSETTS. Consistent with other portraits by Blunt, she is lavishly attired and adorned with gold jewelry. As a further expression of wealth, the "high style" elaborate curled coiffure would have required a skilled maid to set so precisely. A French-twist is held by a large tortoiseshell comb. The ends of her long hair are oiled and curled and set with pins. Ringlets hang down her neck......The "golden" landscape over her shoulder and red sofa are seen in other portraits by Blunt.....John Samuel Blunt (1798-1835) was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Owing to his short life and the relative scarcity of signed works, scholarship on him has been limited. Nina Fletcher Little first brought serious critical attention to Blunt with her landmark article "J. S. Blunt, New England Landscape Painter" published in Antiques (September 1948). Robert Bishop wrote a dissertation on Blunt in 1980 and curated two exhibitions featuring works by him. Labeled as the "Borden Limner" until research by Bishop firmly linked him to Blunt. Blunt painted miniatures, ship ornaments and signs, portraits, landscapes, and is well known for his marine art. Works by Blunt can be seen in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, American Folk Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Portsmouth Athenaeum, and Strawbery Banke Museum. Excellent condition and surface. Never lined. Frame size about 35 1/2 inches long x 30 1/2 wide. .
Probably New England, ca. mid 19th century. Early country character and attitude. Pine with cut nail joinery. Original apple green painted "box" with deeply chamfered sliding lid enclosing a visually appealing gameboard in sage green and soft-yellow paint hues with black squares, the paint surfaces very dry and crystalline. Imagine this gameboard being carried by wagon or horseback. I have not previously encountered a paint decorated gameboard of this form. About 14 3/4 inches square x 1 3/4 height. Multiple display opportunities from closed and flat to half-open on its side. Charming.
Northeast America, ca. early 19th century. Carved from what appears to be a hardwood root. Dry surface, strong patina. Just 3 3/4 inches from the tip of the tail to the tip of the head. Presented within an iron mount. Ex collection of Peter Brams.
Northeast America, ca. 18th/early 19th century. All ash burl except one side in pine. Rare in ash burl, if not unique. Untouched original condition with dry over-varnish, rich color, and terrific condition. Slow lathe tool marks visible on the surface, with deep incised lines of decoration. Made by an accomplished turner. The pine side is engraved with the initials "EL", likely the owner. About 4 3/8 x 4 1/2 diameter; about 2 3/8 tall. May have held liquor or gun powder. Not "strapped" so carried either in a pocket or knapsack. See The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution for reference. For the collector seeking especially fine and rare Americana or treen. Provenance: Private collection, previously personal collection of Tom Porter, former owner of Garth's Auctions.
New England, ca. 1835. Watercolor and ink on paper. Elegant young woman with hollow-cut head and hair comb sitting high on top of her slender neck. Her gaze is to the right with body in three-quarter posture. Her hair is painted about the edges of her head which is further ornamented. Note the delicate pendent-on-chain. Color remains in terrific bright condition catching one's eye from even across the room. Old repaired tear. Period brass frame of 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches. Painted silhouettes like this example are scarce. See A Loving Likeness, page 51 for another silhouette in blue dress likely by the same hand.
Northeast America, ca. 1870. A highly visual professionally painted sign for the shoe maker "J. Meier" a survivor of a time when shoes were made by hand by craftsmen and adverstising was typically limited to an attractive posting at the shop-front. Painted pine with sand ground, the sand being a common texture employed in that period for signage backgrounds. This sign has survived in very good condition, with both sides remaining impactful, offering the option of hanging on a wall, or between rooms where both sides can be appreciated. All original except for an old replacement to the bottom section of molding only. About 30 inches wide x 22 tall x 2 deep (at the moldings). Once in the collection of the Dexter Shoe Company.
Dated 1805. Berks County, Pennsylvania. Watercolor on laid paper. Beautifully composed, colors remain bright and saturated. Information with the fraktur reads "These two married people, Mr. Joseph Moffly and his wife Elizabeth, ne'e Myer, is a son born named Samuel, in the year of our Lord Jesus 1789, the 8th of December at 8 o'clock in the evening in the sign of Virgo. This Samuel was born and baptised in America in the State of Pennsylvania, in Berks County in Retschland Township. Samuel was baptised the 4th of April, 1790 by Herrn Mack. The Witnesses were Johan Hofman and his wife AJnamargeta. Made by Samuel Moffly in 1805". Frame is not period. Frame size about 20 3/8 inches x 17 1/2. Sight size about 16 1/4 inches x 13 1/2. Condition very good with minor repairs. Crease lines unobtrusively visible from folding, yet it was likely being folded for generations that has enabled its colors to remain strong.
Lancaster County, PA, ca. 1800-1840. OF JUST THREE DOZEN DOME TOP BOXES ATTRIBUTED TO THE COMPASS ARTIST, THIS BOX IS THE SMALLEST AT UNDER FOUR INCHES. Poplar and perhaps pine. Dovetailed case. Tiny cut nails attach the base and hand-planed lid. Decorations laid out and scribed by compass before painting. Distinctive tinned sheet iron hinges, and punchwork-decorated escutcheon plate and fan-shaped hasp are characteristic of this maker and original. Painted with a Prussian blue ground, the scribe lines highlighted with white or red paint, inner petals filled with red, and outer lobes profusely stippled with red dots. About 3.75 inches high by 3.75 wide by 2.75 deep. Untouched condition. See The Compass Artist of Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Wendy Cooper et al., American Furniture, Beckerdite, 2009, pp 62-87 for an extensive discussion of Compass Boxes. Similar boxes are in Wintherthur and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in some of the finest folk art collections.