Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania , dated 1823. Marked "Wrought in the year 1823" by Rebecca Ford "R. Fords Work", "Age 9 years". This is a very pleasing piece with central Federal-home with double-chimney and fan-light atop a grassy hill, flanked by stylized trees with what appears to be deer at the bottom of the hill. Other elements include birds, a tulip, and urn filled with flowers or fruit (a symbol of abundance and optimism). Rebecca , born on March 1, 1814 in Allentown, was the daughter Robert Perrine. She later married Joseph Vorhees, born 1812. Excellent contemporary frame fitted with Museum Glass. Overall frame size about 16 5/8 inches x 12 1/8. Excellent condition. .
New England, 18th century. Newburyport, MA. Maple and iron. Rich patina. Plank scribes were used by shipwrights to mark large planks, typically from white oak, which were heated to be bent with the curve of the ship. This scribe can be used on planks as large as 40 inches or a small as 8 with adjustment by the iron turn-screw. The pride of the maker is demonstrated by the crisp decorative carving and incised-lines, and the tapering arms highlighted by lambs tongue carving. Handling of this rare piece connects one to the early days of colonial ship building which began in America as fishing provided commerce between colonies. Colonial towns provided skilled labor which included carpenters, joiners, borers, coppers, caulkers, and dubbers. During the colonial period shipbuilding became the major source of employment for coastal towns. A prized example with impressive size of about 28 inches. See The Pine Furniture of Early New England, Kettell, page 209, for a similar but less developed example.
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.
Lancaster County, PA, ca. 1800-1840. OF JUST THREE DOZEN DOME TOP BOXES ATTRIBUTED TO THE COMPASS ARTIST, THIS BOX IS THE SMALLEST AT UNDER FOUR INCHES. Poplar and perhaps pine. Dovetailed case. Tiny cut nails attach the base and hand-planed lid. Decorations laid out and scribed by compass before painting. Distinctive tinned sheet iron hinges, and punchwork-decorated escutcheon plate and fan-shaped hasp are characteristic of this maker and original. Painted with a Prussian blue ground, the scribe lines highlighted with white or red paint, inner petals filled with red, and outer lobes profusely stippled with red dots. About 3.75 inches high by 3.75 wide by 2.75 deep. Untouched condition. See The Compass Artist of Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Wendy Cooper et al., American Furniture, Beckerdite, 2009, pp 62-87 for an extensive discussion of Compass Boxes. Similar boxes are in Wintherthur and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in some of the finest folk art collections.
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.
Baltimore, Maryland, ca. 1825. Tall, stately, boldly tapering flask with flattened sides, decorated on both faces with a large brushed cobalt-blue flower with fan-shaped blossom and cobalt-highlighted spout. Approximately 20 examples from Baltimore are known, some being attributed to maker David Parr. Excellent structural condition with no cracks. Stands about 9 1/2 inches tall, broad shoulders of about 5 inches wide tapering down to a base of 2 1/4 inches; about 2 3/8 thick. From a long time private collection. A beautiful gem!
Northeast Woodlands Indian, likely Iroquois, ca. late 18th/early 19th century. Ash burl in its original, very dry, complex unvarnished surface. Beautiful raised open carved handles. Broad and deep, oblong, measuring almost 20 inches long and across (19 1/4 inches long x 18 1/2 wide x 7 tall). Excellent condition. Sturdy, robust, weighty feel. See North American Burl Treen, Powers, pp 122-124 for other raised-handle Iroquois bowls.
Probably east coast, ca. late 19th to early 20th century. Three carved shorebirds in dry, polychrome paint, including one preening, resting on wire legs set within a perfect portion of driftwood. The birds are tiny, ranging from 2 5/8 inches to 3 3/8. The entire piece is about 7 inches long x 2 3/8 wide. A sweet piece that can rest on a shelf, chest, or candle stand.