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.
Probably New England, ca. 18th century to very early 19th, used in period to separate grain from chaff. Made from oak or ash, with a thick walled riven-band that is joined at the lap by early forged nails. The means of tying the splints into the interior is remarkable. The thick material used gives a rigid feel and weight more like a bowl than a basket, and the nut-brown patina/color reminds of an ash burl bowl. The diameter varies from about 18 to 20 inches, the height being about 3 3/4 inches. Condition is exceptional with one splint break and minor charring over several inches at an outer edge. See Early American Wooden Ware, Mary Ellen Gould, page 15 for a discussion of winnowing sieves. It is unlikely that there is a winnowing basket of superior antique quality than this. In hand, it is a delight.
Possibly by Harris and Company of Boston, ca. 19th century. Strong, detailed form, with bulbous copper body and orb; zinc head and talons, the cast zinc providing more detail than copper. Particularly bold talons and spurs. "Open" tail consistent with the earlier period. Retaining superb weathered mustard-yellow sizing in dry, finely crackled surface, and traces of gilding and verdigris. Terrific condition with no apparent breaks. Several original bullet hole repairs while in use (so called "farmer repairs"). A pleasure to be able to offer a great weathervane with unquestionable age and integrity and character. Museum mounted for display. About 23 inches tall not including the base, and 20 inches from tip of beak to tip of tail x 4 wide. At home with a folk art and/or early paint collection. The first time this weathervane has been on the market in over 30 years.
Probably New England, ca. 1780 to 1825. Ash or chestnut. A large bowl with desirable blue paint and a wonderful feel from many years of use. A beaded decoration supports a faceted rim, chamfered on this inside and out. The underside shows chisel marks where the block was removed after turning. Terrific condition with exceptional character despite an early rim crack. About 18 1/2 to 18 3/4 inches diameter, and unusually deep at 7 1/2 inches. One of the most visually impactful early beehive bowls I have offered, particularly fitting a collection in which "surface" is important.
New England, ca. 1900. Sometimes known as a "Lumberyard Bird", this wonderful carving retains the original long, elegant bill and dry, beautifully patinated original paint, the paint with expected in-use wear, and several shallow holes from shot. Carved eye groove and split tail on a bulbous body. About 11 inches tall including stand x 2 3/8 wide x 11 3/8 long from tail to bill. .
American, ca. 1875. Two pine boards held by wooden dowels, with picture frame molding on the perimeter. Original joinery with cut nails, with later nails added for reinforcement. A "seafoam green" surround is centered by a circular-red band enclosing radiating numbered scoring lines. I loved this gameboard from the moment I saw it. It combines a contemporary feel and color impact with the real wear and patina that only antiques can have. Even the exposing knots add beautifully to the aesthetic. A sizeable board at about 24 1/2 inches wide x 24 1/4 tall x 7/8 thick.
Appears to be pine, ca. first half-20th century. Sizeable carving which likely originally saw outdoor use, perhaps in a garden, as there appears to be a second layer of white paint, and the copper beak has a buildup of verdigris, which likely would have occurred outdoors. Head has inset amber glass eyes with black pupils. Mounted in a wooden stand. In stand, about 21 3/4 inches tall; length from tip of the bill to tail is 18 1/4.
Northeast America or England, ca. 18th century. Painted softwood (pine?) backboard and handle, with woven paper, watercolor lettering, and horn, all held within by leather straps. Wood is in a dry, crusty, thin, dark paint exhibiting fine hand-planed tool marks. The horn covering is darkened to amber, is missing a triangular portion at its top, and is cracked vertically below that portion. The underlying paper and lettering is in terrific condition. Despite the damage to the horn, a rare and very desirable early piece. Note the 24 letter alphabet, a characteristic of early lettering where the capital "J" was often represented by the letter "I", and "U" by the letter "V". About 6 inches tall.