Gouache on paper, ca. 1860s. Attributed to port painter Luigi P. Renault of Leghorn (b. 1845). The JOHN SPEAR was built in Thomaston, Maine in 1849, sailed out of Rockland, Maine in the 1850's, and was home-ported out of New Orleans in 1861 when it sailed to Italy as the subject of this painting. Caption reads, in script: Ship "John Spear" from New Orleans, entering the port of Naples, March 9th 1861, J.S. Ingraham, Commander..... Bold and colorful and striking, this painting reflects the pride of American maritime commerce in the 19th century. The American flag, and the ship banner, stand out beautifully. Notable on the right is a ship bearing a mix of paddle/sail propulsion, as the transition occurred from wind to steam in the mid-19th century. Also note the crew members and passengers on the deck. Provenance: Sold in 1972 by Samuel L. Lowe, Jr, Boston, MA. This painting has been in a Rochester, NY collection since then. Pictured in the Magazine Antiques, page 339, February, 1972. Accompanied by a portfolio of background papers, and the Magazine Antiques from which it was originally pictured. Frame size about 36 inches x 28 inches. This painting has a stunning decorative and historical presence. Ask for high res photos to appreciate it.
Probably New England, ca. 18th to early 19th century. Retaining its first berry-colored dry paint, this very thin treen plate is from a hardwood, probably maple, shrunken dramatically out of round. The color is most appealing, a berry-color, perhaps made from berries as the pigment. Slow-lathe tool marks are evident. A real plus is a naturally-loose small knot that is whimsically moveable. As good of a period woodenware dish as one can find. Measures about 5 3/16 inches across the grain and 5 7/16 with the grain. About 5/8 inch thick. .
Probably New England, 19th century. Paint on pine. Although difficult to portray photographically given the long length and narrow width, this trade sign is sensational. Gold against a black ground, this trade sign is unusual in its verticle format (likley positioned along a door frame), and desirable content. The soft palette is very pleasing, enhanced beautifully by weathering. The left edge is rounded; the right squared. Originally was attached via several screw holes through the front. Loss at the very bottom, yet below the last letter and not significant when viewed from the front. About 88 inches tall (7 feet, 4 inches) x 4 7/8 wide x 7/8 thick. Easily hung as it is very lightweight and has a hanging hook attached to the back. A perfect location would be on a narrow wall segment, or paralleling a door frame.
New England, ca. 1830. Watercolor on velvet, with saturated colors on bountiful fruits, including a two-tone blue watermelon, set upon a handled "Leeds" platter, . A nearly identical example, complete with a watermelon on a platter, is illustrated in Jean Lippman's American Primitive Painting from the Holger Cahill Collection. Superb condition. Set in a terrific period molded gilt frame. Overall frame size of 27 1/4 x 24 1/4 .
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 Eastern American, ca. 1st half, 19th century. Grouping of three objects, each special in its own way. The wonderful stylized heart cutter, about 3 1/8 inches wide, of tin and likely maple, joined by cut nails, is ex-Winterthur Museum, and is pictured on page 73 of Folk Hearts, A Celebration of the Heart Motif in American Folk Art. The heart-in-hand tin cookie cutter, is just 3 1/2 inches tall and is ex: personal collection of Carole Hayward. Similar tin cookie cutter examples are pictured within the same Folk Heart book. It is robust with only minor corrosion to the surface. The hardwood board (5 inches tall) with pierced heart and fragment-glass window may have been used a a box cover. It is engraved with the initials 'RV', wavy glass (with stable crack) original grungy dry (possibly painted) surface. It may have been intended to be used as a fragment mirror but was never silvered. Probably all made and given originally as tokens of affection. Sold only as a group.
Northeast America, with paint-precedents in Pennsylvania and New England. Ca. early to mid-19th century. Pine. Crisply made with a fine-Federal dovetailed case. Vivid, dry, paint decoration of blue-green serpentine swaths on a barn-red ground with whimsical trailing salmon-colored dots. The sliding lid with thumbnail molded sides above sliding dados. The top of the lid has always been fitted with a leather strip, presumably used to sharpen blades. An exceptionally well made box with unusually delightful folk art paint decoration. About 11 1/2 inches long x 3 wide x 2 7/8 tall. Excellent condition
Probably New England, ca. early 19th century. Single board pine, strengthened by breadboard ends held by large cut nails, reinforced with a few later cut nails. A minimum of cut marks would suggest that this board was used primarily for rolling dough rather than for bread cutting. Complex surface formed by decades of use and wear with what appears to be a second darker early paint that has largely worn away from most of the board revealing the original first soft blue paint. In the low area (roughly the shape of a scooped-out V) the darker color remains more intact. The back is clean and unstained, indicating that this board has been well kept through the years, and continues to lie flat without warping. A wonderful visual statement resulting from real-use history. About 25 inches long x 20 wide x 3/4 thick.