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Stunning Paint Decorated Swallow-Tail Fingered Box.....SOLD

New England, ca. 1820-1840. Maple or sycamore and white pine with original rich polychrome paint decoration and thin over-varnish. Its precise swallow-tail fingers and overall fine quality construction make it comparable to examples made by the Shakers. If Shaker made, it would have been sold unpainted then decorated in the "outside world" by a non-Shaker. The painted decoration is superbly rendered by a highly accomplished ornamental painter with a mastery of both brush and design. The decoration is related to those seen on select paint decorated tinware and chair-rails of the period. Small boxes like these with elaborate decoration were likely "not purposeful", i.e., not for pantry use, rather gifted as an expression of affection. If used at all it was likely for jewelry or other small valuables. This rare and beautiful box survives in a remarkable state of preservation with an untouched surface. Amongst the finest paint decorated bentwood boxes known. Diameter about 4 3/8 inches x 2 tall. See American Fancy, Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840, Sumpter Priddy, for reference.

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Important Coffin Family of Nantucket Candle Lantern.....SALE PENDING

Nantucket, ca. 1750. Unusual construction likely influenced by needs aboard whaling vessels. Pine with natural surface and sensational occluded wavy glass. In addition to the rare "diamond" window form, this lantern is further elevated by BOLD DOVETAILS, and a door that opens from the back. Dovetails are tightened by reinforcing ROSE HEAD NAILS, while the glass is held by tiny forged brads. The door retains its original snipe hinges and tin latch. The top retains the original tinned-iron vent. Condition is very good with several character-adding period repairs including an early wire closure of a crack on the door, and a tin sheet across the inner top of the door held by early nails. The hanging hole in the backboard is more typical of that seen on wallboxes, not lanterns, indicating a wall mount. About 14 inches tall x 5 3/4 wide x 5 1/2 deep. Until recently, this lantern had not left the prominent Coffin family of Nantucket. The Coffins were a group of whalers operating out of Nantucket from the 17th to 19th centuries. Tristram Coffin (ca. 1609-1681) came to Massachusetts from England. In 1659 he led a group of investors that bought Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew for thirty pounds and two beaver hats. He became a prominent citizen of the settlement. A great number of his descendants also became prominent citizens, and many were involved in the later history of Nantucket during and after its heyday as a whaling center. Almost all notable Americans with roots in Nantucket are descended from Tristram Coffin.

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Early Valuables Box with Brass Heart Escutcheon

New England, likely Connecticut, ca. early/mid 19th century. Appears to be birch wood with dovetailed corners in original dry brown paint. Retains orginal brass bale, hinges, and escutcheon, and iron lock. Unusual form with low profile compared to the length, perhaps for safe keeping of documents or maps, and possibly for a ship. Newspaper article inside suggests this box came out the attic contents of the belongings of the Markham family and the whaler Frederick A. Weld in Guilford, Connecticut. Surface and structural condition are terrific, the box is crisp and very well crafted. The dark paint creates a strong contrast with the heart escutheon, enabling it to stand out even in low lighting. Undoubtedly given as a gift of affection. About 16 1/2 inches long x 4 1/2 tall x 8 deep.

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WANTED: Early Painted and Paint Decorated Woodenware

Seeking special examples of 18th/19th century woodenware in original paint. Please email photos to earlypieces@aol.com, or call 585-385-9002.

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RARE TOMBSTONE-DOOR WALL CUPBOARD EX: LILLIAN BLANKLEY COGAN.....SOLD

New England, ca. mid 18th century. A witness to the early days of Colonial America, highlighted by ancient original paint and rare STRIKING tombstone shaped door. The turnbuckle knob (which any lover of treen will notice for its sensational surface) opens the door revealing three shelves, one defined by the shaped round of the tombstone. The door is scratch-carved with a small B and large N. (18th century scrafitto from a child?) High state of originality with all original moldings, H-hinges with rosehead nails, and knob/turnbuckle. Wear related to age and use. A later nail added at the closure to compensate for wear. About 30 1/8 inches tall x 26 1/4 wide and delightfully shallow at only 7 1/2 inches deep not including the molding. May be mounted to a wall or rest on a chest. THE WHOLE LEAVES AN INDELIBLE IMAGE. Provenance: Private collection of the best of 18th century country America; Lillian Blankley Cogan (decades ago), a doyenne of Americana dealers for nearly 70 years.

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Exceptional Sailor-Engraved Powder Horn

Probably Coastal New England, ca. early 19th century (possibly late 18th). Carved and engraved horn with pine plug. Profusely decorated with vignettes of places the sailor had seen (real or imagined) during his journeys. The horn is centered with the patriotic American eagle and shield, with E PLURIBUS UNUM trumpeted from the eagle's mouth within ribbon. Pictorial engravings include: grand three masted ship (likely the ship the carver sailed on for months or years), mariner's compass, NAPTUN, a trumpeter riding a half horse/fish, conjoined hearts, a magnificent estate with fish weathervane and musketed guards, table fitted with food and wine, a hunter, and more. Overall length about 12 inches. Excellent condition.

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Stack of Three MINIATURE Boxes in True Early Blue Paint.....SOLD

New England, likely Massachusetts, perhaps Hingham, ca. mid 19th century. The two smaller maple and pine; the larger ash and pine. Individually scarce and exceptional, together rare. All with opposing fingers held by cut nails and tiny wooden pegs. Paint on all dry and without over-varnish. Diameters range from 2 inches to 2 3/4 to 3 1/8. Condition all structurally excellent save the smallest which has an early, perhaps at time of making, sliver loss. Total height of just 4 1/8 inches!

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Elegant Young Woman in Green Dress Signed by William Kennedy

Probably Maryland. Signed and dated in pencil, upper right back of frame "William W. Kennedy/1854". Oil on artist board. Exhibiting unusually fluid brushwork, this important signed and dated portrait is a superior example of Kennedy's artistry, illustrating an especially attractive young woman. It rises above his more formulaic, symbolic likenesses and is painterly and spontaneous while portraying a quiet confidence. Note the background flowers, a feature associated with Kennedy. In a superb state of preservation; mint condition. The original frame was expertly re-veneered. Painting size about 17 inches x 13 3/4. Frame 20 3/4 x 17 3/4. Kennedy (1818-after 1870) was a native of New Hampshire and itinerant member of the Prior-Hamblin school of painters. He painted in New Bedford, MA in 1845; Ledyard, CT in 1846; and Berwick, ME in 1847. By 1850 he had moved to Baltimore, MD where he lived just a few doors away from William Matthew Prior. Provenance: "Important Americana" Sotheby's, February 1, 1986, lot 434. Collection of folk art historians and authors' "Mr. and Mrs Howard Fertig", Livingston, NJ. Exhibited: "The Fertig Collection of Folk Art" The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ, 1991.

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Large Early Painted Bowl with Pronounced Shrinkage

New England, ca. 1800, appears to be turned from ash or chestnut with orginal red paint. This bowl stands out given its impressive size and dramatic soaring lines created by strong shrinkage across the grain. Further enhanced by a swelled-body and molded rim with inward cant. Excellent structural condition without cracks. Diameter ranges from 21 to 19 ¾ inches, with height 5 to 6 1/4 inches.

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Vivid Wallpaper Box.....SOLD

Probably Pennsylvania, ca. 1840. Wallpaper on bentwood pine or poplar. One of the most colorful wallpaper boxes I have seen, with brilliant orange against a rich blue ground. The maker also placed the elements with a strong eye toward design, very effectively centering a front panel with a geometric flower. The interior is fully lined with period newsprint, always interesting to read, with one passage referring to “abolitionists”. Structurally excellent condition with period wear to the paper as pictured. This box demands attention, standing out even within a crowded space. About 6 ¾ inches long x 5 ¼ wide x 4 1/8 tall. .

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