Likely New York State, ca. 18th century. Highly figured ash burl. Probably Iroquois. Found in the 1940's in an antique shop in Canandaigua, NY (about 30 miles south of Rochester). Stunningly beautiful design highlighted by double open-handles with rounded demi-lune cutouts. The handles flow into slightly down-curved side walls before ascending smoothly to the opposite handle. The result is a bowl of sophisticated elegance. The structural condition is superb, with no cracks. A linear inclusion, almost like a fold, shows underneath as it did when the burl knot was removed from the ash tree. The inside shows remnants of an early over-varnish, the exterior shows a mix of very thin over-varnish and smooth burnishing from handling. Desirable smaller size at just 14 1/2 inches long x 10 3/8 wide x 5 3/8 tall at the handles. Although fashioned long ago, this Native American bowl has the presence of modern art, only better..
From the celebrated woodworking town of Hingham, Massachusetts, ca. mid-19th century. All oval in original painted surfaces with opposing fingers. Colors of gray, yellow, green, green-blue, and red in dry, patinated mellowed surfaces that work beautifully together as a graduated stack or mixed arrangement. Details: Gray paint, probably Hersey, copper tacks and wooden pins, 4 7/8 x 3 5/8 x 1 11/16 inches. Yellow paint, copper tacks and wooden pins, 5 7/8 x 4 1/23 x 2 1/4 inches. Green paint, probably Hersey, copper tacks and wooden pins, 5 1/2 x 4 x 2 inches. Blue, oxidized to a greenish blue, probably Hersey, copper tacks and wooden pins, 6 5/16 x 4 11/16 x 2 1/2 inches. Red paint, iron tacks, 6 1/2 x 5 x 2 3/4 inches. All in good condition. Years ago in the collection of American Hurrah.
Probably Massachusetts or Maine, ca. 1830-1840. Oil on canvas. Attributed to George Hartwell who was closely associated with William Matthew Prior and Sturtevant Hamblin. Pleasant seated young lady in stylized scroll-back chair in soft colors holding book with rose and landscape embellishments. Painted in the desirable flat style without shade or shadow. Consistent with Hartwell in overall look and feel, and in the three-quarter length view, two-toned lips, and smooth areas in varying shades on the cheeks, noses, and under the brows to suggest modeling. Frame size 31 5/8 inches tall x 26 5/8 wide. Sight size 26 3/4 inches x 21 3/4. This compares to typical Prior-Hamblin portraits that are about half this size. Condition is strong with just minor in-painting; relined. A bit of paint loss to the right of the lady's face and scattered specks and craquelure.
New England, ca. 1825. Pine. Inner dust barrier and till. Dovetailed case, with domed top joined by unheaded cut nails. Original wonderful dry patinated crusty BLUE paint subtly decorated with wisps of willow trees on all sides. Structurally superb condition, including undisturbed wire hinges. Minor losses to paint. Retains simple wire latch. Very desirable small size at just 9 inches long x 4 1/4 tall x 4 5/8 deep. What a great piece of Americana!
Northeast America, ca. mid-19th century. An oblong handled bowl of commmonly found form, yet in very uncommon original chrome yellow paint. I have never owned this form in this color, and can not recall seeing another example. The paint is dry, showing appropriate wear in the correct high-spots. The interior is covered with thousands of knife marks; clearly this bowl was used in food preparation. The bowl is in terrific condition with no apologies. Clean and crisp and bright. About 19 1/2 inches long x 10 1/4 wide x 3 3/4 tall.
Likely Hudson River Valley, ca. 18th century. Pine. Slightly canted case in original red paint, this box has an unusual double demi-lune hanger and a rarely seen reeded front board and iron-strap blacksmith-made exposed hinges. The reeding is formed by hand planning. Chisel marks are readily apparent on the chamfered hanger edges. The interior has a thin vertical divider on the left, perhaps used to hold candles on the longer side, tinder and lighting material on the shorter. The strap hinges are attached to the top of the lid via wrought nails which are clenched to the under-side. The rear of the hinges are joined by heavy wrought iron staples which penetrate the backboard, then clenched over from behind. Condition is very good, with normal wear as expected. Clearly heavily used given the encrustation visible on the lid and two ancient splits that are held by early cut nails. A museum accession number (292) is labeled on the back. This special wall box is for the collector who wants early, color, rarity, and great character. About 16 inches long x 9 tall x 5 1/2 deep. .
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.
Probably Maine. Oil on canvas. This portrait of a handsome young gentleman is attributed to Royall Brewster Smith who was active in Maine from about 1830 to 1837. Superb use of strong hues and tonal range; bright and crisp. Highlighted by the wonderful colors in the swags and exquisite chair. Note the manner in which the young gentleman's arm "drapes" over the chair as if cloth, a distinctive characteristic of Smith's work and a most charming element. The "glittered" column to the right adds more visual interest. Excellent rendering of the "sheen" in his coat and vest. Old relining. Excellent condition with minor retouch. Later 19th century frame which is about 29 inches wide x 33 inches tall. This portrait has been in a superior Maine folk art collection for 30 to 40 years.