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.
Seeking special examples of early American folk art portraits. Please email photos to email@example.com, or call 585-385-9002.
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.
Likely Pennsylvania, ca. mid 19th century. Appears to be maple. Rich dark color. Expertly carved. Pronounced lathe-turn marks on front and back with turned handle. Probably made in a small craftsman shop. A common form but elevated considerably above the norm by its crisp, accomplished carving and MINT condition. About 3 5/8 inch diameter. Provenance: Private collection, formerly Nathan Liverant & Son..
New England, ca. 1870-1890. Likely by Harris and Co., Boston. Copper, with sensational early complex surface retaining yellow sizing, gilding, verdigris, and rich chocolate browns, with more wear to the side most often facing the weather (as it should be). Crisp details, such as the rider's expressive face and the in-curves to the horses head, as seen on the earliest and finest examples. First-rate structural condition retaining even the smallest features. This weathervane survives as an exemplary sculpture with much character created by years of exposure to Mother Nature. About 34 inches long. Provenance: Prominent Midwest weathervane collection. See: A Gallery of American Weathervanes and Whirlygigs, Robert Bishop, for another horse and sulky embellished with Black Hawk horse, at that time (1981) the only one known! Please email for high resolution photos to better appreciate the details and subtleties of the surface.
American, ca. 1830-1840. Three-quarter length oil on canvas. Retaining its original stretcher in Southern yellow pine, suggesting an origin from Virginia through the Mid-Atlantic States and perhaps down to the Carolinas. An unusually desirable portrait of an especially handsome boy standing before stately columns proudly grasping his target rifle, outfitted with a silver-mounted ebonized powder horn and double bag (used for combinations of either ball and shot-or-two different size balls). His cap rests on a side-table fronting the verdant outdoors. The silver-mounted horn and setting suggests that the boy is from a wealthy family and likely near a larger town or city with a working silver-smith. The handsomeness of the boy and his youthful skin are enhanced by the artist's choice of a soft color-palette. Cleaned and lightly varnished, the condition very good with minor in-painting (black light photos easily emailed). The frame was recently custom-designed. Overall frame size about 39 5/8 inches tall x 33 5/8 wide. Distinctive and so pleasing!
New England, ca 1861-1865. Watercolor and pen and ink on paper. Signed W.M.C. Philbrick. The wooden, 207 foot long USS Ossipee, named after the Ossipee River of New Hampshire and Maine, was launched from the Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1861 as a sloop-of-war in the Union Navy during the Civil War. Among many actions the Ossipee served in the blockage of Newport News, Virginia in 1863 and in Admiral Farragut's naval battle in Mobile Bay, Alabama in 1864, forcing the ironclad CSS Tennessee to surrender. This precisely rendered ship portrait shows fittings for battle, including 6 cannons and gun ports enclosing more. The portrait retains strong color, highlighted by the bold American flag. Research reveals that WMC Philbrick is William M.C. Philbrick, a Naval Architect and carpenter's mate of the USS Portsmouth, based on a sketch by him depicting the USS Albatross off Mobile, AL., in 1863, and from The Private Papers of William M.C. Philbrick, US Naval Historical Center, Mystic Seaport, CT. Philbrick also sketched the iron-clad ship Essex in 1862 and likely other ships as well. Excellent condition with minor creases and several small edge tears repaired on the back. Presented in a period gilt frame measuring about 29 inches long x 21 tall. This portrait blends real history with a bright, folk art presence. Please ask for higher res photos to see detail.
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.
Northeast America, ca. mid to 3rd quarter, 19th century. Oil on canvas. Possible attribution to Joseph Goodhue Chandler. A most pleasing, bold, impactful rendering with rich color. The drummer boy clutches firmly the staff of an American flag, a strong patriotic expression. A rope-tensioned field drum and wooden sticks lie beside him. The "drummer boy" has always been an iconic figure in American history. He goes into battle with no weapon, only a drum with which to rally and encourage the troops around him. The drums were an important part of the battlefield communications with drum rolls used to signal commands from officers to troops. The life of a drummer boy appeared glamorous and as a result, boys would sometimes run away from home to enlist. The image of boy drummers were depicted in paintings, sculpture and poetry..... The stretcher retains remnants of an old label reading in part "...rear entra(nce) / NEW YORK/ ...YORK/ ANTIQUES EXPOSITION... ." The label is said to have referred to Albany at one time, indicating an exhibition in that city, possibly celebrating the Centennial of 1876. Frame size about 46 inches x 31. Excellent condition with very minor touch-up; contemporary frame. Provenance: Alice Braunfeld, Los Angeles, early 1980s; private collection. .
Likely Pennsylvania, ca. 1840-1870. A remarkable folk art expression with dramatic silhouette in an OUTSTANDING state of originality including the dry, finely crazed original red (paint or thin pigmented varnish) and mirror-glass. Made by an inventive and skilled craftsman/artist who wanted the mirror to stand out from the others, to be its own little work of art. Ornamentation includes incised and split columns, exceptional scrolls in the crest, applied, deeply carved stars, cross-hatched stylized diamond-shaped ears in the corners, and signed in the central bottom rail "W. HOWER", flanked by punch decorated tulips and birds. Exceptional condition! Only minor cracks limited to the narrow neck of the scrolls mended in period by glue-blocks on the reverse. About 22 1/4 inches wide x 19 3/4 tall. Easily the most exceptional mirror I have ever owned, and also one of the finest pieces of folk art. For the collector was wants a unique, whimsical, folky, colorful piece that is also useful.