Art

Double Watercolor Portraits

Charming pair of ladies' portraits (mother and daughter? sisters?), matched in size and clearly by the same artist's hand.  One woman wears an intricately detailed lace cap and holds a small leather-bound book.  The other holds a letter bearing a red seal. Both are clad in blue and are wearing white shawls, rendered with remarkable detail (e.g., fringe).Although the artist was clearly not academically trained, the facial features are sensitively rendered, no doubt affording pleasing likenesses as well as testament to each lady's' comeliness. Apparel and accessories date the portraits to around 1840.  Housed in matching period molded gilt wood frames  5 1/2" X 4 1/4" overall.

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Pier Mirror With Verre Eglomise Panel

This is a delightful American, 19th C. pier glass with robust, intricately carved wood frame  and a lovely vere eglomise panel to the upper frieze.  Beautifully carved wood frame has tenon and mortise construction, block corners, decorative relief carving and is grain painted.  The contrasting ochre-colored grain painted bands are comb painted.  The mirror also retains its original reverse painting of a charming country house and landscape scene, the fence in front of the house features pin-prick detailing.  It retains its original glass and chamfered back, in super order. A really fine, original and appealing example.

Measures 23" X 13"

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Mirror With Early 19th C Polychrome Painted Frame

Original black-painted frame stenciled in salmon and green decoration.  Chrome yellow pinstripe.  15" X 18".  Provenance: frame possibly by Arson Clark.

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Trumeau Mirror with Verre Eglomise Panel

Trumeau or pier mirror with beautifully executed verre églomisé (Hinterglasmalerei) panel.

This classical, split baluster mirror is in untouched mint condition, retaining its original reverse painting of a charming country house and landscape scene. The frame is carved throughout including the block corners with a medallion design. The gold leaf and mirror are original. Reverse painting often fails over time, but this example is perfect, and the painting is very fine. Note: The original, chamfered backboard is in untouched condition. It is rare to find a mirror that practically looks like it was made yesterday, this one, though, is real and of the period.

The mirror measures 24” X 11 ½”.

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Decorative Pier Mirror with Vibrant Verre Eglomise

A charming Federal mirror with églomisé panel, American, circa 1810. Features a carved wood frame with exuberant reverse-glass painting of basket with pumpkins on frieze panel above the original mirror.  20" X 10 1/2"

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19th Century New England Folk Art Landscape Painting

Charming rural scene depicts a fine, large farmhouse peaking through a stand of deciduous trees in autumnal foliage.  The white fence and out-buildings reinforce this property as an affluent homestead. An elegant carriage drawn by two white horses pulls up on the drive, with a group of three persons and a dog readying to greet the passengers. A cheerful group of four finely dressed figures and two dogs in the foreground is meticulously rendered.  

Unsigned. Watercolor, pencil, ink and gouache on paper.  New England, circa 1825.

Fine condition, 15 inches x 20 inches (sight) and 27 ½ inches x 32inches framed.

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19th Century Pennsylvania Landscapes

Pencil with touches of watercolor and gouache on paper.  

The main image depicts a Pennsylvania countryside scene with farmhouse and associated outbuildings along with figures (human and horse) in the foreground, with rolling hills and hints of building structures in the distance.  

Mounted for visibility on the back is a second picture by the same hand, delicately rendered in pencil with black and gray watercolor tinting on trees and four distinct horse-drawn vehicles.  Delicate pencil depiction of fencing, hills, trees and remote buildings creates atmospheric distance.  

Framed size: 22" X 19"  Conservation mounted.

Although unsigned, these drawings strongly bear characteristics of the work of Ferdinand Arnold Brader (December 7, 1833 – December 20, 1901), known for his detailed pencil drawings of farms and other dwellings in rural Pennsylvania and Ohio. His first pencil drawings of farms and homes were done while he was in Pennsylvania as early as 1876, in Berks County, Lancaster Co., Montgomery Co., Lebanon Co. and from as far west as Somerset, Beaver and Allegheny Counties. 
It is thought he did some 300 pictures in Pennsylvania, although the exact number is not known as he did not number and sign many of his Pennsylvania pictures.  


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19th Century Portrait of a Woman

19th Century miniature portrait of a woman wearing a bonnet. 

Watercolor on paper.

Excellent handling of the medium to render a distinguished profile likeness. Exceptional detail . . . especially in the treatment of the netting and lace bonnet.

Circa 1830, it is in excellent condition and housed in its original oval ebony frame.  The framed size is 11" x 9-1/2"

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Portrait of Anna H. Crampton Bulla - Attributed to Rufus Porter (American, 1792-1884)

Portrait of Anna H. Crampton Bulla. Unsigned. The sitter is identified in an inscription on the reverse reading "Anna H. Crampton Bulla painted at the age of seventeen-1845 in Richmond, In [signed] A. H. C. Bulla November 15, 1904."

A genealogical search reveals that Anna H. Crampton was born in March, 1828, married John Hoover Bulla, a farmer and had eleven children. (https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/KC5B-GD8)

Watercolor on paper, 1845, depicting seated profile portrait of the young Anna Bulla wearing a black dress trimmed with deep lace and blue ribbon at collar and with flat white embroidered sleeve cuffs. She rests her hands, gloved in netted fingerless mitts, in her lap, with her right hand appearing to hold a white lace handkerchief. Her dark hair is center parted and pulled back into a period chignon with a curl visible behind her right ear.

The portrait bears several key hallmarks of Rufus Porter's technique, including:

  • Ear: Gray interior of ear that forms a ‘C’; heart shape form of the lower interior back of the ear. 
  • Eyes: Eyelashes are straight out from lid and mid tone in color; eyeball on profile is football shaped and the pupil is a straight slash down not a dot.
  • Lips:Brown red line delineating lip separation. 

Sight sizes 7” x 9”, in period frame. Condition: Visible edge (from earlier framing?) some foxing, minor toning. 

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Watercolor Portrait Attributed to J. A. Davis

Watercolor and pencil on paper, c. 1835, depicting a seated young woman wearing a black dress with lace trimmed collar and cuffs and wearing a coral cameo on black ribbon. Unsigned, but very likely by Jane Anthony Davis (1821-1855).  The sitter is exceptionally pretty and is delicately rendered.  Like most of Davis' subjects she is costumed in black with only spare use of color to highlight the penciled facial features, such as the bluish coloring of the eyelids and pink lips; as well as other objects in the composition, such as her necklace, the chair visible behind her, and the small table with tall blue flower beside her. Also typical of Davis’ portraits is the exaggerated negative space between arms and body. Almost all of Davis’ subjects were residents of the Norwich or Providence-Warwick areas, so the origin of this small portrait is likely Rhode Island.

Sight-size: 5” by 7”. (6" x 8" including period frame).

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Jane Anthony Davis: Portrait of Roxanne Wilcox

Pencil and watercolor on paper portrait of Roxanne Wilcox by Jane A. Davis (1821-1855).  Unsigned. 

Conservation mounted in grain painted period frame. 7 ¼” X 8 ½”

Condition: Excellent with very minor spotting

Documentation: Two notes found with the painting (pictured), indicate that Roxanne Wilcox was born October 11, 1821 in South Kingstown, RI, married Benjamin Northrop Rose, died on April 11, 1871 and is buried in Roses Cemetery on Roses Hill between Peacedale and Norrisfield.  A genealogical search reveals that Roxanne (Roxanna) Wilcox Rose died on March 28, 1855.  An image of her gravestone is attached.

Biographical note on artist
: Jane Anthony Davis was born in Rhode Island in 1821, married Edward Nelson Davis of Connecticut in 1841 and died in Rhode Island in 1855. Until 1981, based on research by Arthur and Sybil Kern, it was thought that J.A. Davis was a man and a different person than Jane Anthony Davis. Prior to that time there was very little information that had been found about Davis.

Davis' work is quite uncommon, highly sought after by collectors of naïve American art, and is in the collections of many folk art museums.

Related Literature: Arthur and Sybil Kern, "J.A. Davis: Identity Reviewed," The Clarion, Summer 1991, p. 46. 

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PA Watercolor with Robin

Vivid Pennsylvania watercolor features thistle blossoms and robin.

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