BRILLIANT DOUBLE PORTRAIT....
The HATHAWAY SISTERS
Probably Massachusetts (Boston), ca. 1840-1845. Oil on canvas, attributed to Sturtevant Hamblin (active 1837-1856). Project yourself to 1840. A major moment in the Hathaway sister’s young lives was this portrait. With light brown hair and blue eyes, wearing matching vibrant blue-green dresses, they are shown affectionately holding hands. Mary, the younger, holds a sprig of flowers in her right hand, while Elizabeth a red-leather book in her left, proudly communicating her literacy. Difficult to capture for most folk artists, Hamblin successfully portrays the girls as strikingly luminous, while stark in palette, such that they have a visual strength and presence that matches the sweetness of their relationship, without being saccharine. They are posed on a barely visible sofa, the primary prop, which is pushed into the dark background, further focusing the attention on the sisters. One is captivated by their direct gaze, amplified by the painting being a double portrait and of significant scale. MORE......
YARN-SEWN HEARTH RUG
Featuring an Enigmatic
New England, ca. 1820 to 1830. Fine wool and cotton on linen, mounted for display. A tour de force of folk art created by a talented young woman artist. She was a meticulous needle worker, stitching remarkably-even raised loops, especially noticeable in the urn. Her design has a bursting of color and texture as she flanked the already over-flowing urn with bouquets of more flowers. In this period gardens of flowers were often an extravagance, so the bold representation of so many indicates optimism and abundance. Don’t miss the single blue tulip, positioned almost at the very center. Symbolism? Blue tulips (that did not naturally occur) are thought to have symbolized tranquility and peace, trust and loyalty. This artwork has survived in amazing condition with almost no wear, as it was created and intended as decoration, likely to cover the hearth-stone (as the hearth was unused in the summer months), not as an underfoot floor piece. Mounted dimensions of about 62 inches wide x 28 tall. Pictured and discussed in AMERICAN SEWN RUGS, THEIR HISTORY WITH EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLES, Jan Whitlock with Tracy Jamar, 2012, pages 4 and 70; LIGHT FROM THE PAST, Early American Rugs from the Collection of Ronnie Newman, page 25 as exhibited in the Kresge Foundation Gallery of the Ramopo College of New Jersey, 2004. Paraphrasing
of Enormous Size. Published......SOLD
Likely Ohio, ca. early 19th century. Original very dry brown and yellow vinegar paint on what appears to be poplar or maple. Baluster form with slow-lathe tool marks clearly visible. Although this form and paint decoration is frequently found in canisters of just a few inches in height, this example rises WAY above all I have seen or researched to a presence that stands out from across a room. The scale, and condition are remarkable, without cracks to the lid or sidewalls (just an inconsequential shrinkage separation underneath-when the unseasoned wood first dried-and a lathe-gouge on one side in the making, under the original paint). Almost 14 inches tall to the top of the integral finial handle. Provenance includes: The Important American Folk Art Collection of Burton and Helaine Fendelman, Sotheby’s, 1993. Pictured in American Country, Mary Emmerling, 1980. .
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.
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..
Northeast, Probably New England, ca. 1810-1840. Original paint decoration of oyster white and black lining on a rich green ground, with confident and skillfully rendered tendril brushstrokes on the top. Pine, poplar, or basswood dovetailed case. In a very high state of originality, remarkably retaining its first undisturbed leather hinges, and scalloped leather border held by brass tacks. Also original brass lock plate and bale handle. Soft, dry surface. Subtly domed with no cracks. Small size that would bring stand-out historic craftsmanship to your mantel, candlestand, chest, or shelf. Just 11 ½ inches long x 5 ½ tall x 5 7/8 deep.
Provenance: Olde Hope, Private NH collection; ..
Noteworthy Portrait Miniature Attributed to Thomas Skynner ....SOLD
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.
New England, ca. late 18th/early 19th century.. Appears to be pine or poplar. In a very high state of originality including an ancient very dry and worn black paint over traces of red. The backboard has a nicely formed lollipop hanger above spurred-shoulders. The tops of the front and side-walls are carved, emulating a more formal example, and thumbnail molding at the base. The drawer is dovetailed and retains its original little wooden pull. Elegant tall proportion of 16 inches in height x just 4 3/8 wide (and 4 ¼ deep). The proportion and unexpected carving belies its country origin. May be hung or rests on a surface. Provenance includes: Stephen-Douglas, private collections..