Black Hawk Weathervane.
Sensational Historic Verdigris Surface
Northeast America, likely made by Cushing & White or Jewell, ca. Civil War period to 1875. The visual appeal of the best authentic early weathervanes often relate to the aesthetics of their surface. This Black Hawk has a beautiful blue-green verdigris on copper that developed over many years of outside exposure, and does not appear to ever having had a second gilding. The rich color and sculptural form elevate it to art that would stand out in a historic or contemporary setting. Black Hawks are amongst the most sought after weathervane forms owing to their proud, elegant, powerful stance. This Blackhawk is further distinguished by its finely detailed mane and tail hair (and three-dimensional tail) that enrich its silhouette. Its flattened body allows it to be placed on a narrow shelf, windowsill, or mantel. Black Hawk, born 1833 in New Hampshire, was a famous black stallion described as coming nearer to the ideal of the perfect horse than any other animal ever seen; abundant spirit and life, bold, fearless, and graceful. About 24 inches long x 19 ½ (to the top of the ears when mounted in the stand), the body about 2 inches thick. Exceptional condition. See the terrific new book, American Weathervanes, The Art of the Winds, Robert Shaw, for reference.
Early Wallbox in Scarce Original Apple-Green Paint
Northeast, ca. early 19th century. Pine with original thin very-dry apple green paint. Joinery by early nails of irregular head shapes and sizes. A country box yet elegant in its simplicity and pleasing proportions, with double-tombstone backboard separated by a tab. The scrolled side-walls descend to a straight front enclosing a well. Small size, perhaps for spills or candles. The back unpainted with strong natural patina. May be hung or rest on a horizontal surface. About 13 ¼ inches tall x 5 ¼ wide x 4 ¾ deep.
Colorful Folk Art Painting of a Village about an Inlet.
Eastern US, ca. mid 19th century. Oil on canvas. A scarce painting of coastal life about a little inlet, clearly showing pride and happiness of the artist. The idealized representation is often what set folk paintings apart from more academic works, as the folk artist was painting what he felt as much as what he saw. The painting is a standout given its appealing strong colors, and vignettes of tranquil boat life about the water. Previous owner had the painting cleaned and lined, in beautiful condition with only very minor non-image touchup. Fine gilt frame of about 30 inches wide x 23 tall. Important Provenance includes: Gift from the Estate of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1980; private Southern collection..
Radiant Paint Decorated Box
-Special Color and Form
Northeast, dated March 2, 1834. Rare and so pleasing squared-form in pine, neatly dovetailed, in a yellow paint accented with green scallops, trim, and arched carry-handle. Brass-hinged lids opens to 4 evenly spaced interior divided sections. On the exterior of the lid is written, well worn, in script ink: "O The path of the just is the shining light that shineth more and more until the perfect day. March 2, 1834 Prov. 4:18". 10 inches x 10.5 inches x 4 ½ (not including the handle). Although it has been attributed as Shaker-made in the past, I have not been able to confirm that. Regardless, it does have a very appealing simplicity and cleaness of design that we often associate with Shaker. The paint decoration dramatically elevates the form. Super structural condition and minor paint wear as expected for a box of this age. Provenance: private New England collection.
Rare THREE KINGS
Northwest Europe, ca. 15th century (yes, more than 5-centuries old!). A tour-de-force of form and function. The double socketed candle arm centered by a central threaded double-knopped post, peened to a raised-walled well above an incurved base. The shaped flaring arms lead to angular sockets of small size. Fine condition, with the double-arm threading worn from use such that it rests at its bottom position, the joinery underneath reinforced by re-peening, and expected minor bumps. For a virtually identical example, see Old Domestic Base-Metal Candlesticks, Michaelis, page 54, fig 55. Also, Koper and Brons, RIJKSMuseum, Amderstam. fig 144; Fire and Light, Caspall, page 81, fig 140, and The Lear Collection: A Study of Copper-Alloy Socket Candlesticks, A.D. 200-1700, Bangs, pp. 70 and 220. Center post about 12 inches tall; 9 to the top of the candlesockets. Base diameter about 4 ½ inches. Such a thrilling rarity.
with Outstanding Surface
Northeast America, likely J.W. Fiske, New York, ca. 19th century. Terrific detail and modeling, retaining a complex and highly desirable dry surface of worn paint revealing gilding and verdigris, the unique, authentic surface a product of its in-use weathering. The large feathers of the arrow are especially bold and balance the design. A useful size at about 22 inches high, 24 long, and 3 deep is sizeable enough to have a strong presence yet small enough to be placed in many locations. Terrific condition with expected minor seam separations. Happy to email high res photos. Long time private New England collection, purchased some 40+ years ago from Alexander Acevedo.
MINIATURE Paint Decorated Lift Top Chest with Hidden Panel
Northeast America, ca. 1800 to 1825. From the AMERICAN FANCY PERIOD IN WHICH COLOR AND CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION WERE SOUGHT TO DELIGHT THE HUMAN SPIRIT AND EXCITE THE SENSES. Pine and poplar, with untouched "sugary" varnish surface. Rich dark patina. Paint decorated with outer-case having black-over-red graining, flowers on the shaped and pierced apron and bracket feet, and red tulips on the front facade within a mustard reserve. The case conceals hidden compartments, one under a till above a decorated panel that slides up to reveal a tiny drawer. A hinged panel under the lid lifts to expose three compartments, the panel decorated on the outside with a folk art painting of a ship arriving at a wharf (note the woman and man in top hat at the window), the underside of the panel having another fanciful folk art painting of dogs pulling a chariot chased by a rider on stag. The remnant of a note includes the passage "May virtue and happiness." About 10 inches long x 7 3/4 tall x 5 1/4 deep. Provenance includes the personal collection of TOM AND CAROLYN PORTER (former owners of Garths Auction in Ohio
Noteworthy Portrait Miniature Attributed to Thomas Skynner;
Ex Don Walters
Probably New Hampshire, ca. 1840. Watercolor and pencil on paper. The dark haired, crisply dressed appealing young man holds a book to communicate his literacy. The portrait enclosed within a blue scalloped border. Note the crude and stiff rendering of his arm holding the book, a most desirable untrained artist attribute. Portraits by Skynner are represented in the National Gallery of Art, the former Chrysler-Garbisch collection, Old Sturbridge Village, and the Shelburne Museum. Period frame is likely original. Frame size about 5 5/8 inches tall x 5 wide. Super condition. Provenance for this portrait includes THE AMERICAN FOLK ART COLLECTION OF DON AND FAYE WALTERS, Sotheby's, October 25, 1986, pictured and described lot 33. Other examples may be seen in The Loving Likeness, The Susan and Ray Egan collection. And, see AMERICAN ANTHEM, MASTERWORKS IN THE AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM, page 109, for a very similar portrait by Skynner probably of my portrait subject's brother..
IMPORTANT HISTORIC ANTIQUE SIGNBOARD. PATRIOTIC EAGLE AND SHIELD. SYMBOLS OF AMERICA.....SOLD
AMONG THE FINEST OF PATRIOTIC IMAGES KNOWN. Masterpiece folk art interpretation of the Great Seal of the United States of America centering rare signage for a US Marshal. Powerful. Dramatic. Confident. Inspiring. Brilliantly composed, rich with the visual vocabulary of America, like an illustrated time-capsule, revealing the deep pride and gratitude of early American's in their young country. Lansingburgh, New York, ca. 1853. Signed by the artist J. Follett. Painted on wood panel, for the appointment of John Mott as United States Marshall for the Northern District of NY State by U.S. President Franklin Pierce. The visual is glorious. The majestic eagle's talons firmly hold the bold red, white, and blue shield against his breast. E PLURIBUS UNUM is affirmed by his intense gaze as he supports the blue ribbon in his powerful beak. The roiling sun-filled clouds are a perfect backdrop to make the arrows (birth in warfare) and olive branches (hope for a prosperous, peaceful nation) stand out. Likewise, the gray-blue clouds, and dark wings contrast and frame the eagle's white head. The artist effectively rendered the US Marshal message, in gilt lettering against a sage ground, subordinate to and without competing with the eagle and shield. A thrilling signboard at the pinnacle of early American folk art. About 34 inches tall x 22 wide x 1/2 thick, with beveled edge. Condition: Unweathered as always presented indoors. Touch-up to scratches and lightly cleaned.
Rare WALLPAPER BOWL
Most likely Pennsylvania, ca. 1840. Colors and patterns often seen on Pennsylvania wallpaper boxes of the period, yet on a rare “bowl”, the bowl constructed of pressboard “petals” joined by hand-sewn seams. Structurally superb condition, the wallpaper with expected period wear. Diameter about 8 ¾ inches; height 2 ¾. Private Northeast collection. May have been used for holding sewing items. The first example of this rare form that I have seen..