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 By the late 1830's many of the young ladies' seminaries had been replaced by public schools with emphasis on academic subjects rather than art, and Romanticism was replaced by the Industrial Revolution and Realism, so few examples of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.
American, probably New England, dated 1829. Oil on wooden panel. The young man identified on the back as HC Pond, born Dcm (December) 18-1812, painted in 1829 age 17. The lower right front panel signed E. Pond, undoubtedly a relative of young HC. Research finds no other painting by this artist, so may be a singular work, although it likely other portraits were painted by this artist given his obvious skill. HC is most fashionably attired in an elegant double breasted charcoal-gray coat, black vest and tie, and high collared white shirt. His handsome face with wide almond-shaped eyes and smooth skin complement his stylish attire, which, combined with excellent proportions and subtle color harmony, elevate this portrait well above most that we encounter. The portrait cuts a clear, bold silhouette that makes good use of the characteristic padded shoulders found on the coats of the period. The work is executed with both confidence and skill and yet is "flatter", intuitive and less developed than its academic counterparts. Excellent condition with very thin vertical cracks repaired; minor in-painting. Housed in a terrific period red-painted frame that presents the portrait beautifully. Appealing small size without being a miniature. It does not demand a large wall and yet still carries visually at a reasonable distance. Overall frame size about 15 1/2 inches tall x 13 wide. Compares favorably to "Mr. Boyd" yet larger, facing forward and much scarcer.
Likely near Salem, Massachusetts, ca. early 19th century. Maple, leather, and brass. Carved in a manner that had to be influenced by the exquisitely carved (in mahogany) bellows created by Samuel McIntire in late 18th to early 19th century, or his son Samuel Field McIntire, this example being the more "country" version of their works. The carving, in high relief, is of a basket with overflowing fruit with 6-pointed stars (similar to that of Samuel Field McIntire furniture carvings) in the background, all set within an oval border. The condition of the carving is excellent, and the patina on the maple is a rich nutty-brown, very dry and untouched. The leather shows typical period losses. About 18 inches long x 7 1/2 wide x 1 1/2 deep. See SAMUEL MCINTIRE Carving an American Style, Peabody Essex Museum for reference. This is a rare piece.
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.
American, ca. late 19th century. The full-body and orb made from moulded zinc, hammered and worked by the maker into shape, the legs and feet cast from zinc for extra detail and strength. Early surface of very dry, patinated paint. The form of the dove is terrific, with crisp detail, highlighted by raised wings and wide fanning tail. Small size so it can be rested comfortably on a desk, table, or shelf. Stands about 21 5/8 inches tall including the stand, about 12 inches from outer breast to the end of the tail, and a full five inches across the wings. Very good condition. Not a common form.
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.
Likely Northeast, ca. 1820-1840. Appears to be chestnut or ash. Very thinly lathe-turned by a skilled woodworker. Molded rim and turned foot. Shows burnished tool marks where the lathe-block was chiseled from the bottom. In a thin yellow paint that provides a burst of color yet lets the figure of the wood show through. 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. .
Northeast America, possibly Philadelphia, ca. 18th century. Hardwood (maple?) with remnants of early cream and black paint and retaining the original iron hangers. It attracted passersby during a time when many were illiterate, so figural signs, like this carved pig (rather than lettered) were often used. The pig is a remarkable survivor, having endured many years of weathering that checked and pitted its surface into a deeply textured sculptural object with much more character and presence than when first crafted. It exhibits shadows of long lost 19th century tin sheets installed to extend its life. Comes with a custom iron stand, or may be hung. About 21 inches from the tail to the tip of the snout......Simple, honest, rare, graphic, historic.....Please ask for high res photos to better see the surface details.