Northeast America, ca. 1830-1850. Watercolor on paper. Highly detailed freehand folk art rendering of a reticulated basket of flowers resting on a stone on a mound of earth with tufted grass. Hard to capture photographically yet note the very fine and delicate detail in the close-up image. Good condition with colors that remain strong; typical toning and a minor paper tear. Housed in a 1830's period ripple gilded frame. Provenance: Ex Collection of Mr. and Mrs. James L. Britton, Christies, NY, 1999; private collection. Overall frame size of 20 5/8 inches wide x 18 5/8 tall.
New England, ca. mid-19th century. Pastel on paper. Colorful and bright, like a living postcard, this peaceful painting shows a tight protective cluster of large Federal homes, several of the homes with brick fronts and clapboard painted sides, as was a common New England practice. The village has risen alongside a sizable stream-fed pond and waterfall, the waterfall perhaps providing power and terrific fishing location, and with the continous splash of flowing water. As with many folk art townscapes, this idealized rendering shows no clutter or disrepair, rather captures the pride of the owner's in what their village has become. The artist chose black windows, which are particularly effective in providing color-contrast against the soft pastels. The white painted rail-fence on the left, that likely contains livestock and horses, provides a boundary against the dangers of the countryside, while providing a leading line into the village where a white-picket fence implies sophistication and comfort. One can darken the room, light just this painting, and easily travel back into the sights and sounds of a 19th century New England village. Excellent condition with minor restoration. Housed in a custom frame added 25 years ago. Overall frame size about 33 1/2 inches wide x 23 1/2 inches tall. Large enough to carry a significant wall, yet small enough to be versatile.
Likely Pennsylvania, ca. 1840. Wallpaper on pressed paperboard, embellished with silk ribbon at the corners. 5 3/8 inches long x 4 wide x 2.5 tall (not including the cushion). Colors remain bold and vibrant. Excellent condition.
American, ca. early 19th century. Pastel on paper. Unsigned. A most pleasing little boy in a soft, quiet color palette. The boy fashionably attired in what appears to be a long sleeved "skeleton" suit, with three columns of buttons. The quiet of the portrait enhanced by the softness of the bird he holds. Somewhat unusual to find in an early portrait is that the boy wears an earring. The portrait is presented in what is likely its original period mahogany frame. The frame is so well made it is like furniture. Appealing presence with minor spots of loss about the edges and unobtrusive water stains at the bottom. Frame dimensions about 20 1/2 inches x 16 5/8.
American, most likely Northeastern, dated 1920. Cotton and wool fibers. Composed and made in manner that would seem earlier, this hooked rug has a coveted combination of soft earth tones, "just right" period wear, variegated background, and playful horses. Large petal forms could be interpreted as flowers or possibly snowflakes. Excellent condition with no repairs noted. Museum mounted for easy hanging. About 37 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches. See American Hooked and Sewn Rugs, Folk Art Underfoot, Kopp for reference.
New England, ca. 1830-1835. Attributed to the celebrated "Puffy Sleeve Artist". Hollow-cut, watercolor on paper over black-fabric backing of an elegant young woman with a room-filling presence that belies its small size. The work is crisply and confidently rendered, and remains in a super state of preservation. The teal dress is likely a unique survival for this artist and elevates the work well above most related examples. Brass frame is of the period and likely original, measuring about 5 1/8 inches tall x 4 3/8 wide. See "A Loving Likeness, American Folk Portraits of the Nineteenth Century", original and supplement, for other examples attributed to the Puffy Sleeve Artist.
Probably Hudson River School, New York State, signed and dated lower right Maria W Chapin, 1838. Watercolor on paper. Great pride in the compelling natural beauty of the Hudson River drove talented 19th century artists to portray that beauty in landscape paintings, with deep reverance toward the spectacular river and its surrounding mountains. This masterfully executed watercolor is by one of those capable artists who was able to capture that splendor with her brush before the availability of photography. Several vignettes of those enjoying the vista highlight the composition, including a gentleman to the left directing two ladies toward perhaps the sailboats, two fisherman and their companion dog on the near shore, and even the subtle depiction of smoke rising from several distant campfires, suggesting a cold day and maybe more fishermen making a meal of their catches. Very cool to have this "snapshot" of nature and the "outing" clothing of the day over 175 years ago. Well cared for excellent condition. About 26 5/8 inches wide x 18 tall. High res photos easily emailed.
Believed to be from Newburyport, MA, ca. early 19th century. Folding traveling looking glass with the names FAITH HOYT and ABIGAIL ROBERTS. Likely a hand-made gift from one to the other. Folding mirror is encased within embossed hand-blocked wallpaper, with green and blue and bittersweet coloring. Within the case is a folding mirror, with the mirror glass on the right side, and the two girls/women's names on the left. The back is of green wallpaper. Expected wear, yet good condition considering its age and delicacy. Case closed is about 5 inches long x 3 3/4 tall. Opens to about 10 inches. .
Massachusetts, ca. 1830. Oil on canvas in original frame with a high-state of originality. The confident young woman is identified on the back of the canvas as LENORA FISH of UPTON, MASSACHUSETTS. Consistent with other portraits by Blunt, she is lavishly attired and adorned with gold jewelry. As a further expression of wealth, the "high style" elaborate curled coiffure would have required a skilled maid to set so precisely. A French-twist is held by a large tortoiseshell comb. The ends of her long hair are oiled and curled and set with pins. Ringlets hang down her neck......The "golden" landscape over her shoulder and red sofa are seen in other portraits by Blunt.....John Samuel Blunt (1798-1835) was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Owing to his short life and the relative scarcity of signed works, scholarship on him has been limited. Nina Fletcher Little first brought serious critical attention to Blunt with her landmark article "J. S. Blunt, New England Landscape Painter" published in Antiques (September 1948). Robert Bishop wrote a dissertation on Blunt in 1980 and curated two exhibitions featuring works by him. Labeled as the "Borden Limner" until research by Bishop firmly linked him to Blunt. Blunt painted miniatures, ship ornaments and signs, portraits, landscapes, and is well known for his marine art. Works by Blunt can be seen in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, American Folk Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Portsmouth Athenaeum, and Strawbery Banke Museum. Excellent condition and surface. Never lined. Frame size about 35 1/2 inches long x 30 1/2 wide. .