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19TH c. PORTRAIT OF BOY WITH HOOP
A charming c. 1840 American watercolor of a young boy with hoop. It is in its original mahogany veneer frame and is in excellent condition. The overall size is 13 7/8" X 11 5/8" wide. The sight size is 7 1/2" X 9 1/2".
PAIR OF PORTRAITS ATTRIBUTED TO SAMUEL P. HOWES CIRCA 1830
A pair of marriage portraits of an exceptionally good looking couple. The sitters in these oil on canvas portraits were identified at some point in the past by a family member. the names Grandfather Walker and Grandmother Walker [Diancy] are written in pencil on the back of the stretchers. There is a verbal history of the sitters being from Massachusetts. The portraits have not been relined and they retain their original stretchers. While there is heavy craquelure, the paint is not flaking and is very stable. There is scattered retouch to the background near the stretchers on each. The sight size is 20 1/2" X 25".. The stretcher size is 22" X 27". The deeply molded wood frames were made rather recently to fit the paintings. Samuel P. Howes b. 1806 d. 1881, worked as a portrait painter primarily in Lowell, Massachusetts. There is a catalog put together by the Whistler House Museum titled Samuel P. Howes Portrait Painter. Paul D' ambrosio was responsible for much of the research.
VERMONT SCHOOL GIRL WATERCOLOR
Circa 1835, this watercolor was done by Jennett King. It came from an estate in Brownsville, Vermont. The name Jennett King as well as the dimensions of the artwork appear in old script en verso. The work appears to be in its original frame. The overall size is about 17" X 21". The sight is 12 1/2" X 16 1/2".
CONNECTICUT DOUBLE SILHOUETTE AND FAMILY REGISTER BY THE LETTERPRESS ARTIST
This is a rare and wonderful piece! it is a double silhouette of a Connecticut couple. The silhouettes are housed in their original mahogany veneer frame with the lower tablet of the frame containing a record of the family of Joseph Webster and his wife Mehetable Drake. Joseph was born Feb 1, 1762 to William Webster and Anna Case Webster. Mehetable Drake was born Jan 28, 1766 to Ebenezer Drake and Mehetable Cook Drake. They were married April 14th 1785 in Wintonbury, (Bloomfield) CT where it appears they continued to reside. The register gives the dates of birth of their 7 children. Death dates were also carefully added as they occurred. The overall dimension of this piece is 12 1/2" X 10 3/4". The letterpress artist traveled through Connecticut cutting silhouettes and often identifying the sitters by using a letter press printer. To date, the name of the artist is unknown.
SIGNED CHARCOAL DRAWING OF KITTENS
This is an adorable charcoal drawing depicting two very friendly kittens. It is beautifully rendered by Bernice Viets who was from East Granby, CT 1910 census she is listed as 24 years of age and living on an East Granby farm with her parents Scott and Chloe Viets and her sisters Esther and Dorothy. The charcoal drawing is signed B. Viets on the lower left and BLV on the lower right. It measures ( sight) 8 3/4" X 10 1/2". The framed dimension is approx. 12 1/2" X 14 1/4".
DRAWING OF EBENEZER MASON'S HOUSE ASHFORD, CONNECTICUT
This is a fantastic piece that is much nicer in person than we can capture in the photos! It is a watercolor copy, painted by Samuel R. Mason on June 7 1832, titled "The Residence of the late Ebenezer Mason Ashford, Conn. The painting is done predominantly in shades of gray with the chimney of the house, the dirt road and the body of the stagecoach accented in color. The brownish red painted frame is original to the piece and has a fantastic crazed surface. The matt is also original. Even the hand planed wood back board is original to the piece. I believe the house pictured was that of either church Deacon Ebenezer Mason born in 1749 or that of his sone Ebenezer who was born in 1782. Both men were born in Ashford. That branch of the Mason family came from Roxbury, Massachusetts, settled in Woodstock, CT and then Ashford. Deacon Ebenezer Hastings Married Mary Haastings. Their son also Ebenezer married Martha Harwood.
FOLK ART PORTRAIT OF MOTHER & CHILD
A beautifully painted portrait of a mother and child. Found in Maine among several other early family portraits that were cut from their stretchers and stored in an old trunk, presumably so that they would take up less space. This portrait has since been professionally restored, relined and in-painted as well as appropriately framed. I love the soft and simple painting style especially the folky depiction of the infant! It would be difficult to find a mother and child portrait with more primitive appeal. The overall size including the frame is approximately 33" X 26".
An amazing memorial painted by Hannah P. Perry in 1824 when she was 13 years old. She probably depicted herself standing by the urn. When Hannah painted this she painted extra headstones to the left of the urn and left them blank. These were saved for living family members. As they died, their names and dates were faithfully filled in. The painting is signed and dated on the reverse by Hannah. At a later time someone copied the text to the front and added the location Providence. Research has revealed the family members who's names and dates appear on the memorial lived and died in Sherborn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. This boldly ornamented memorial is one of the best examples that I have seen! Measurements including the frame are approximately 20" X 16 3/4". All colors are bright and clear with exception for the sky which has faded. This piece is backed with acid free material under the wood back. It is agonizing sometimes to get a good photo with glass! The first photo was taken with the glass removed. It gives the truest depiction of the colors. This piece is really beautiful in person. Please excuse any glare in our photographs.
RARE WATERCOLOR ATTRIBUTED TO EUNICE PINNEY
A great little watercolor confidently attributed to Eunice Griswold Holcombe Pinney who was born in Simsbury, Connecticut in 1770. She is thought to have painted as an adult after her second marriage. This painting was done for Lucy King Norton of Suffield, Connecticut born 1793. Lucy's name and the location Suffield are hand lettered on the back of the painting. Lucy married in 1820. It is possible that the subject matter of the watercolor, which appears to be allegorical in nature, may relate to her upcoming marriage. One of the women in the painting is carrying a branch of Solomon's Seal which, in the language of flowers symbolizes confirmation of love. The overall size including frame is approximately 8 3/4" X 8 1/4". The last image is a watercolor signed by Eunice Pinney. It is titled Peace. It is posted so that you may compare the workmanship.
An early printed and hand colored fractur printed in Reading Pennsylvania. It is a very colorful example featuring birds and angels. It is dated 1818. The handwritten names on the fractur are Abraham and Elizabeth Mayer. It is uncut and in very good condition with a small bit of spotting to the top right. Framed, it measures 17 5/8" X 15" Please excuse any glare from the glass in the photos..
A PAIR OF VERY PRIMITIVE FOLK ART PAINTINGS
This unusual pair of paintings certainly fall under the term folk art! One painting appears to be of an African American woman, likely Harriet Tubman. The other is an unusual profile portrait of a Caucasian woman. Both came from the Billy Cook collection. I know this because of a couple of photographs (also pictured above) that accompany this pair of paintings I believe that is a portion of one of Cook's chapbooks depicted in the c 1970's photo, I can make out the date July 2, 1855. The photos were taken by the McCann Studio of Massachusetts. The artist Billy Cook, b.1807 - d.1876 Salem, Massachusetts, is truly a folk artist and could be classified as one of the first outsider artists as well. Off to a good start in life, he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, MA,and took courses for 2 years at Yale and than at Washington College in Hartford, CT (which later became Trinity College). Later in life, perhaps due to mental illness, he became in some ways an unconventional man. He ran a school where he taught math as well as Latin to the children of the well to do in Salem. To supplement his income, he authored and sold chapbooks. He set up a simple printing press and hand printed text embellished by his own illustrations which he printed using engraved woodcuts. Each of these booklets was printed one page at a time with some of the illustrations being painstakingly hand touched in pencil. The pages were then hand sewn into book form. A religious man, Cook was also known to hold services in his home for friends, family and curious visitors. Rejected in love, he remained single. Later in life after taking up painting, he eventually opened an art gallery in Salem where he featured his own works which, visually, were far from conforming to other contemporary works of the mid 19th century.. He was happy to explain the meaning behind his works to any gallery visitors. It is said he recited his poetry to the many guests of his gallery as well. People came for amusement and curiosity and some left laughing at the eccentric gentleman. Because of his unconventional ways, and possible mental illness, he was considered a "character" in his town. Although respected in the community for his self sufficiency he was at the same time the object of ridicule for being different. I believe his creative energy simply could not be could not be doused. The paintings offered were not painted using conventional materials or techniques. The canvas, stretcher and frame are "cobbled together" using what ever materials were available. The example depicting the African American woman is painted on a type of cotton or oil cloth fabric which is then sewn in areas on to another piece of similar fabric and mounted on a wood "stretcher" which was whittled from scraps. It is backed with newspaper. A current events type news article is dated 1863 and another article in the paper reveals that the paper is from the Boston, or Salem Massachusetts area.
The profile portrait, which is more fragile, appears to have been painted on paper which I believe was then pasted to fabric. It was been backed with newspaper which has a piece of cotton or oilcloth fabric glued over it. This work is framed in a very primitive pine frame with corners notched and splined together. It was never bound to a stretcher like the other work.
These are exactly as found. The profile portrait has some folding and small losses and the other has a few small horizontal tears that are not readily noticeable. They are fragile works because of the materials used in their creation. Each measures about 11 1/2" X 9 1/2". It seems in this case, with such "found" materials, that this was an almost desperate attempt made by the artist to express himself. To me, that is the precise definition of "folk art".