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FOLK ART BRILLIANCE: Thrilling Portrait of a Sweet Young Girl in Salmon Dress

New Hampshire, ca. 1845. Oil on canvas in original red painted frame. Attributed to H.K. Goodman, whose few known paintings include a family portrait in the Shelburne Museum. Goodman portrayed this pretty little girl with softness and a successful balance of color and calm. Must have been a proud day for her, to have her portrait taken. She has an endearing slightly-turned pose, holding flowers, with a distinctive star pattern to the leaves. These characteristics are also seen in the Goodman family portrait at the Shelburne Museum, and in another little girl portrait in the Don and Faye Walters Collection (Sotheby's, 1986). The mustard-colored tiebacks of the draperies are a perfect splash of light. Found in Claremont NH about a decade ago within the home of the oldest family in that area, the portrait having never being out of that family till then. Virtually untouched original condition with just a minor repair to a small slit in the background that the family had closed with a band aid, and a little rub on the extreme upper right. Frame size about 29 inches tall x 27 wide. Pictured in Antiques and Fine Art, Autumn/Fall, 2013. The harmony of the colors, her sweet face, the remarkable original condition, the frame.....this is folk art at its finest.

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OUTSTANDING Folk Portrait of a Sidewinder Paddlesteamer Sailing Ship

American, ca. 1840-1860. Oil on canvas. Steam-powered sidewinder sailing ships first came into service about 1840. Initially, these ships were only marginally faster than wind-powered clipper sailing-ships and were prone to mechanical failure and fuel shortage. As such, these early paddlewheeler's were typically fitted with a full complement of masts, rigging, and sails due to the captain's mistrust of the new steam technology......By about 1860, technology improved to the point that they were reliable enough (and now significantly faster than sailing-ships) such that the sailing apparatus, including spare sails, rope, and all things needed to sail were eliminated. A benefit of eliminating sails and support supplies was that there was now more space for passengers and the storage of materials for their comfort and other amenities......This painting is a superb depiction of one of these early hybrid sailing and sidewinder ships. Note the beautiful eagle figurehead (sailors "believed" that the sharp eyes of the eagle would be constantly on the lookout for perilous shoals), and the wonderful anchor attached to the side. A large American flag alerts of the captain's pride. The ship cuts cleanly through wind-swept seas. The warm tone of the sky is well balanced by the aqua-green of the swirling waters, with dashes of color from flags, figurehead, and anchor......Terrific condition, with very minor in-painting. Chamfered black painted frame appeaers original (with a bit of repair on the lower edge). Overall frame size is 35.75 x 25.25 inches. Sight size is 29.25 x 19 inches.....Provenance: Private collection, and previously Stephen-Douglas; Robert Thayer.

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Large Ash Burl Bowl with Top Shelf Surface

New York State or New England, ca. 1780-1820. Colonial lathe- turned strongly-figured ash burl with original dry untouched patina with complex surface. Retains remnants of the original thin over varnish. Deeply patinated interior, yet the top few inches about the rim lighter from frequent period handling. This bowl has a feature that I have not seen before: the bottom of the interior stands proud of the side walls, like a convex donut, likely to give additional mass to the bottom that often wore to failure. Classic shape with molded rim and foot, about 20 inches diameter x 6 1/2 tall. Recently from a 60 year New York State collection. In hand as good an example of a large ash burl bowl as one will find with scale, color, complexity of surface, and exceptional condition..

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Vibrant True Folk Art Theorem

New England, ca. 1830. Paint on velvet. A rare true folk art example with a composition from the mind of the artist retaining remarkably bold, bright, primary colors and accomplished gradation of paint. Set within a simple reductive lemon-yellow basket with green borders. Lights up even a darker space. For the collector seeking the exceptional. Overall frame size about 17 1/2 inches wide x 14 tall. Provenance includes Steward Gregory; Claude and Alvan Bisnoff.

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Folk Art Carved Egret Decoy

Probably Long Island, NY, ca. 1880-1900. Body of softwood, while the neck, head, and beak are carved hardwood "root head". Original dry white painted body and black bill. Early makedo brace of copper, now with a verdigris surface, at the juncture of the neck and body. A small separation on the body side was long ago filled. Rich with character and impressive scale. About 19 inches overall length from bill to tail x 25 inches tall including the custom stand. Provenance includes: Kelter-Malce, New York City; "The Folk Art Collection of Peter Brams,", Skinner, Bolton, MA, February 25, 2001; David Schorsch, Woodbury CT; private NJ collection. .

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WINDS FROM THE SEA. BEST Early Fish Weathervane.

Likely the J. W. Fiske Company, New York City, ca. 1870. Form. Surface. Size. .....Copper, with a complex weathered surface that has taken on a beautiful verdigris color while retaining a good amount of gilding and sizing. As weathervanes were of critical importance for centuries to foretell changes in weather, they also become an important American sculptural art form. The best examples, like this scarce full-bodied fish, have appealing sculptural design AND retain an authentic surface that reflects the environmental conditions that led to the aesthetic. Note the balance of top and bottom fins, the graceful flowing lines of the body into the flared and corrugated tail, the repousse eyes, and that dramatic mouth, rimmed with copper molding, that is downswept against the flat bottom jaw. The presence is strong and confident. About 31 1/2 inches long x 13 tall (including stand) x 5 deep. Superb condition; just a few filled or open bullet holes and minor imperfections. See: The Art of the Weathervane, Steve Miller, page 79 for a similar example.

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Profusely Carved and Chip-Decorated Small Sliding Lid Box

Probably New England or Pennsylvania, ca. 1780-1820. Prominently features the FYLFOT as one of the carved pictorial elements. Although we don't know exactly what the fylfot symbolized, we know that it was important, beyond just decorative, and has been seen in both secular and sacred contexts. Research suggests it may represent the sun, energy, rebirth, and/or renewal. The fylfot is often seen on early New England and Pennsylvania decorative arts, and is frequently found on the relief-carved rosettes terminating the split-pediments of 18th century Connecticut furniture. The box also features stylized conjoined hearts, implying being made for a special occasion such as a wedding or anniversary. Carved from a single block (not joined) of dense hardwood, possibly maple or birch. Surprisingly heavy in hand. Retains original thin black paint, with traces of crackled over-varnish within some of the pictorial elements, perhaps used to highlight them. Indistinctly inscribed underneath the lid "This belonged to...given...." Although not more decipherable, it appears to show a hand-off to subsequent owners. The remarkable time and effort and precision shown in the carving suggests the box having been important to the maker. Just 9 inches long including the over-extending thumb piece x 3 wide x 2 3/4 tall. Exceptional condition and may be laid flat or stand on end.

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IMPORTANT HISTORIC ANTIQUE SIGNBOARD. PATRIOTIC EAGLE AND SHIELD. SYMBOLS OF AMERICA

AMONG THE FINEST OF PATRIOTIC IMAGES KNOWN. Masterpiece folk art interpretation of the Great Seal of the United States of America centering rare signage for a US Marshal. Powerful. Dramatic. Confident. Inspiring. Brilliantly composed, rich with the visual vocabulary of America, like an illustrated time-capsule, revealing the deep pride and gratitude of early American's in their young country. Lansingburgh, New York, ca. 1853. Signed by the artist J. Follett. Painted on wood panel, for the appointment of John Mott as United States Marshall for the Northern District of NY State by U.S. President Franklin Pierce. The visual is glorious. The majestic eagle's talons firmly hold the bold red, white, and blue shield against his breast. E PLURIBUS UNUM is affirmed by his intense gaze as he supports the blue ribbon in his powerful beak. The roiling sun-filled clouds are a perfect backdrop to make the arrows (birth in warfare) and olive branches (hope for a prosperous, peaceful nation) stand out. Likewise, the gray-blue clouds, and dark wings contrast and frame the eagle's white head. The artist effectively rendered the US Marshal message, in gilt lettering against a sage ground, subordinate to and without competing with the eagle and shield. A thrilling signboard at the pinnacle of early American folk art. About 34 inches tall x 22 wide x 1/2 thick, with beveled edge. Condition: Unweathered as always presented indoors. Touch-up to scratches and lightly cleaned. Full condition report available. .

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Pictorial Paint Decorated Folk Art Box.....SOLD

Likely Maine, ca. 1820. Untouched original paint, with vignettes that appear to tell the story of the artist's travels or imagination, with a mix of northern trees amongst others that would be of southern origin, like palms (and what I thought were cacti I now think are much more likely flowering thistle). Birds and deer appear amongst the trees, flowers, and plants, many of them potted, implying perhaps a gardener, during a period when gardening was a luxury as so much time was consumed by unrelenting chores. This work has the feel of early New England wall painting and reflects the popularity of white ground decorated furniture in Maine during that period. Structurally excellent condition, noting the loss of the lock hasp very long ago. Expected wear, craquelure, and patination to the paint. About 16 inches long x 9 1/2 deep x 6 tall. Purchased in the 90's by Walters/Benisek from the very important personal collection of Joy Piscopo, the collection focusing on pieces of Maine origin. Amongst my favorite painted pieces I have ever offered!

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Extensively Chip Carved Love-Token Fingered Box

New England, probably Massachusetts, ca. 1840. Carved initials RB. Maple walled with pine top and bottom, with wooden pins and oxidized-copper square-nail joinery. Extensive fine chip carving decorating the fingers, ten intertwining hearts, and stylized vines. Each heart has a unique subtle carved decoration within its boundary, including a tiny sunburst. Small graffiti radial carved into bottom. I have had several boxes by the same hand, including one dated 1842 and indicating that the maker was born in 1761. 3 1/4 inch diameter x 2 inches tall. Superb condition with a couple of very minor splits. Rich dark patina which is particularly impressive given the hard, closed-pore maple. Crafted with much care as a token of affection. Provenance: Fine CT collection from Elliot & Grace Snyder long ago.

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