New England, ca. early 19th century. Appears to be pine, and likely ash handle. I have had very small examples of this form, but never this large. Made by a cooper with a keen eye for design, the shaped swing handle is joined to elongated side-stiles with large wooden pegs that are pinned on the interior. Bands to secure the staves are joined with cut (square) and wrought nails. Smooth burnishing is evident on the under-edge of the base, tops of the tall staves, and edges of the handle. Paint is early and original, and oscillates between sage green and a bit gray depending upon lighting. Condition is terrific, with only a small crack that doesn't go through on the handle. About 9 1/2 inches tall to the top of the side staves; 15 3/4 when the handle is fully verticle..
Probably New England, ca. early 19th century. Broadly splayed-legged Windsor Stool, in original black paint, joined by upper and lower spindles, the upper turned on a very slow lathe, the lower carved by use of knife or spoke shave. The stool is top-mounted with a revolving in-cut seat, connected by a beautifully shaped iron conical element to a stout chamfered cross member which is let into two of the upper spindles. The revolving mechanism is locked into place by an iron pin that rotates as the seat rotates. This pin rotation is evidenced by the circular witness-mark scraping. Strong condition with old stable shrinkage cracks. A very cool and scuptural survival. Perhaps used in an early business or office. About 31 inches tall.
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..... .
Probably New England. ca. 1800. Pine. At just 3.25 inches long, this tiny Queen Anne looking glass is the smallest I have seen, most likely having been used when traveling. Joined by cut nails, and retaining early, well worn, pale-blue paint. The thin glass is largely desilvered except for a quarter size portion in the middle. Silver about the edges has deteriorated away owing to air and mosture infiltration under the glass edges. The back is unpainted, exhibiting a deep patina.
American School, 19th century. Oil on canvas in a terrific period gilt frame, with white pine stretcher. Perhaps set outside a barn, straw in the upper right, and a "doghouse" to the left give scale and an interesting background to this folk art portrait. Heat and cold cycles led to craquelure, some still visible, much of it restored. The restoration enabled the saving of a charming painting. Relined. Frame size about 19 1/2 inches wide x 15 1/2 tall.
Likely New England, ca. late 19th century. A true folk art rug original created from the experiences and inspirations of the artist, not from a template or print source. Central to the work is MAMMA, an uncommon variant of "mother", perhaps worked as a gift or as a personal remembrance. The abstract figures and lettering emulate impressionist paintings, including a number of softly colored non-linear shapes surrounding the central field, enclosed within an olive-green border. Some vignettes come into focus, such as a running horse to the left, a central heart, and a preening heart, others are more interpretive. Wonderful condition, mounted for hanging, and versatile diminutive size at about 36 inches long x 16 1/2 tall.
Likely New England, ca. early to mid 19th century. Painted pine. Early butter churn in the rare form of a planked trapezoid, while most butter churns are staved and round. Crusty dry painted surface that has oxidized to almost black, yet appears in bright light to be originally Windsor green. Cut nail construction. Terrific condition except for a period split (as shown) caused by cut nail joinery. Stands 26 1/4 inches to the top of the churn; 55 inches to the top of the dasher. Simple country elegant.