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. mid 19th century or earlier. Pine and maple. Oval, opposing fingered box joined by cut nails. Original black paint. Interior fitted with printed material illustrating a grand estate labeled "TONTINE". About 5 1/8 inches long x 1 5/8 tall x 3 3/4 wide.
Probably Massachusetts, perhaps Hingham, ca. 1840. Maple and pine. Opposing fingers and bands joined by cut nails and tiny wooden pegs. Dry, bright yellow/mustard paint (almost a chrome-yellow). Wear to paint as shown; structurally terrific. Diameter of just 2 1/8 inches by 1 1/8 tall. A stack topper!
Probably Massachusetts, perhaps Hingham, ca. 1840. 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. A great miniature stack with a total height of just 4 1/8 inches!
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 .
Likely New England, ca. 1830-1840. Paint on velvet. Exceptional visual appeal, retaining bright 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. 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. These theorem paintings were as painstakingly rendered as fine needlework samplers. The artist, typically a lady, often ground and mixed her own paints, designed and carefully cut her own stencils, and employed practice sheets, study notes, and color samples. Some young women of well to do families attended seminaries where they could learn drawing and painting. This exceptional example has frame dimensions of about 22 3/4 inches wide x 21 tall. Outstanding condition with light toning.