Pennsylvania, ca. 3rd quarter, 19th century. Appears to be poplar. Decorated in colors and form in the distinctive manner of Salome Derr (1827-1912), daughter of Peter Derr, the famous 19th century Pennsylvania metal worker. Skillfully crafted of overlapping glued bands without the need for nails or pegs. Fine condition. About 4 3/8 inches long x 1 1/4 tall x 2 3/8 wide.
Northeast America, ca. 1870-1930. Skillfully carved, full-body folk art baby owl with glass eyes, with weathered-painted surface. Great surface quality. Likely began life outdoors or in a barn, perhaps to scare away rodents and birds, having now been "in collection" indoors for decades. Old inconsequential loss to one foot. Mounted on a later wooden stand, labeled underneath "From the Adele Earnest Collection (1980). Without stand about 7 1/4 inches tall. Including stand about 11 3/4 tall. Body depth about 3 inches. See "American Folk Sculpture" Bishop, and "American Folk Art in Wood, Metal, and Stone" Lipman, for reference. As fine an example of painted, carved folk art as I have had. Suitable for any horizontal surface.
Northeast America, ca. 1830. Striking, strong rendering of fruits and flowers billowing from a stylized blue-glass footed bowl. Unusual for theorems is the vertical format, which serves to accentuate the feeling of growth and abundance. Retains strong colors. Background toning so often seen on period velvet theorems. Custom old walnut frame. About 33 1/2 inches tall x 28 inches wide. Provenance: Private collection; Olde Hope.
Probably Northeast America, dated 1852 and signed MED. Finely detailed, elegantly crafted by a maker of superb needlework skills and sense of design, with a tape strap that appears to be hand-loomed. Appears to be felt and thread, with a leather back....The focus being five stylized hearts (billowing from a vase) indicating this piece was likely made as a special gift for wedding or anniversary. A note contained inside reads: "Beautifully designed and wrought in rich, gemlike tones. Leather back has afforded it stability throughout its very long life. Study of this piece leads us to believe it has a New England or Pennsylvania origin. Directly from an extensive and impressive private collection of early bags. Similar to one featured and documented in a PASSION FOR PURSES. The pocket in this reference was formerly in the collection of the Sturbridge Village Museum, Massachusetts." About 11 1/2 inches long not inlude tape, about 9 inches wide. Exceptional condition retaining wonderful bright colors.
Bergen County, New Jersey, ca. 18th century. Classic Bergen County finials. Appears to be maple posts and ash or hickory stretchers and slats. Early green paint over first black. Old or original rush seat. Remarkable history as a walker is evident in the deep wear to the wood, the wear now witness to generations of toddlers learning to walk by sliding the chair about the floor. About 24 3/4 inches tall. An exceptional example.
Probably New England, ca. 1800. Pine throughout, with maple or cherry pulls. Neat size, great surface quality, a rare country piece in completely 'as found' condition with worn crusty oxidized red-painted/as descended surface. Appealing vertical "lift" from complex drawer arrangement with one wide drawer on the bottom cascading to seven tiny drawers at the top. Dovetailed case. Drawers also beautifully dovetailed front and back. Each drawer appears to retain its original turned pull with wooden post, an early joinery technique. Imagine the time to dovetail each drawer and turn the pulls! Additional joinery by cut nails. Double-tombstone top/crest has a second, ca. early 19th century, coat of paint to cover a split caused by early nailing. Dimensions of about 30 inches high x 16 wide x 10 deep. The application is uncertain. It likely would have been used as an apothecary.....Yet also, the depth of the smallest drawers compared to their width implies contents long and thin, perhaps physician implements; perhaps paint brushes. Indeed there are remnants of a vermillion paint. Further, small drawer chests were sometimes used for seeds. Three locking drawers implies at least some contents of significant value or privacy. Two of the drawers retain keys.
Connecticut, 18th century. A fabulous little flute (or piccolo) engraved in bone, signed JOSIAH SMITH. Note the use of the letter 'I' for 'J', typically used pre-1800. The fingering holes of the flute are most attractively accented with sunbursts. Accompanying the letter is a revealing document, ca. 1782, on laid paper, which appears to indicate that Josiah Smith was paid by Connecticut the sum of more than 11 Pounds Sterling for service in the Continental Army, which was one-fourth the balance due, the remainder paid out as interest from 1783 to 1789, at which time I believe that the large hole was die-cut from the document to indicate the debt had been paid. The document is signed by J[ohn] Lawrence, who was treasurer in Connecticut from 1769 to 1789. Note the use of the letter F ("long" S) throught the document, another convention that waned after 1800. Interesting that at this time the state continues to pay in Pounds Sterling, rather than dollars. The flute is about 6 inches long, the note about 7 1/2. An exciting pair. Wouldn't it be even more exciting if research can show that Josiah played his flute during a battle of the Revolutionary War? An intriguing research project for the next owner.
Pennsylvania, ca. 1824. Oil on wooden panel. Wonderful deep, rich, warm colors, executed in a manner similar to ship captain portraits. The sitter is Daniel Yanior, one of the five member "Butcher's Guild of Philadelphia", hence the cattle in the background. The Guild hired Herring in 1824 to paint portraits of each of its members. Confident attribution to James Herring (1794-1867) based on a very similar example, nearly identical for pose and background, signed by Herring and selling at Sotheby's, October 1991, lot 93. Herring is perhaps best known for creating the periodical "The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans" and "The Apollo Art Gallery". His painting style favored crisp lines and a bold color palette. Paintings by Herring are displayed in a number of museums, including the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, NY State Historical Society, National Portrait Gallery, etc. Research on Herring was published in the Magazine Antiques, January, 1978. Condition: A thin restored crack runs vertically from top to bottom of the board; barely discernable. The frame is contemporary. Frame size 27 inches wide x 32 3/4 tall; sight size 20 3/8 x 26 1/8..... .