Folk Art

19th Century "Squeak" Toy

Charming plaything depicts cat reaching into the circus-tent-topped cage of what appears to be a red-winged black bird.  Red, yellow, green and black paint.  Squeezing the trifle produces a bird-like squeak.  Origin:  Lancaster, PA.   5" X 3" X 2 1/2".

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate detail.

Lancaster County Pin/Sewing Balls

Circa 1870, Amish ball is intricately covered completely in layers of deep red linen thread, then fabulously embroidered in linen, silk and wool thread in “God’s Eye” and sunburst patterns. Solidly stuffed with what feels like straw. No evidence of use (i.e., pin holes). Although these Amish wool fabric balls are often called pin cushions many show little use or wear. They were often given as gifts to special friends and family members and hung in a cupboard or on a shelf for display. Outstanding condition. 3 ½” diameter

Also late 19th century, this second ball is ball made of boldly multicolored wool yarn bands with eight piping delineated segments. One early pin is still in this ball. Very minor wear manifested as spots of fuzzing in the yarn. 5” diameter.

Both from collection of the late Joyce Leiby.

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.

19th Century Pennsylvania Scherenschnitte

Masterpiece quality Pennsylvania  Scherenschnitte*.   Intricately cut, pin pricked and painted paper valentine depicts a blindfolded, winged cherub being led by two doves trailing red ribbons to a red and white gazebo, all surrounded by flowers inside an elaborately cut and pricked circle.  Beneath this is a white, yellow and red parrot on a vine of thistle flowers. A truly exceptional work.  12" X 14" (framed).

*Art tradition of cutting continuous paper, founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 16th century and brought to colonial America in the 1700s by immigrants who settled primarily in Pennsylvania.

Please click on photo to enlarge and appreciate detail.

19th Century Chalkware Parrots

These two parrots, - figures frequently featured in Pennsylvania Frakturs, are each perched on balls on a stand. Original green, yellow, red and sienna brown paint. Both are hollow cast and in very good condition with minor paint wear as expected from mid-19th century age and usage. 8 3/4 “ tall.

Please click on photo to enlarge and appreciate details.

PA Tree of Life Embroidery

This fantastic tree of life embroidery with bird and vine border throughout is an exceptional piece of silk on silk embroidery, in remarkable condition.  It is from a private collection (of the late Joyce M. Leiby of Lancaster, PA).

Originally made to serve as a pillow cover, it was never used. The colors are still very sharp and vivid against the black silk background. There is absolutely no wear or damage.  Conservation mounted.  Tru-Vue glass.

Embroidery: 17” X 17”

Frame overall: 23 ½” X 23 ½”

This is a great find and a wonderful addition to any folk art collection. 

Please click on photo to enlarge and appreciate details.

Pastel Portrait of Young Girl

Pastel and graphite on paper, this charming portrait depicts a young girl in a salmon dress. Retains original frame and pine backboard, as well as original glass. Sized with frame: 17 ½” X 13 ½”. Characteristic of work by Ruth Henshaw Bascom (American,1772-1848). Like other 18th and early 19th century primitive female folk artists who had little or no professional training, Ruth Henshaw Bascom was an affluent amateur hobbyist who was both prolific and talented. Most of her pastel portraits were executed during the 1830s. The full- or nearly-full-sized profiles of children and adults were described by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein in American Women Artists: From Early Indian Times to the Present (1982) as having “calm strength of characterization combined with a sensitive feeling for shape, color and texture.” In keeping with the tradition of most such artists of the period, Bascom rarely signed her work.

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.

Paint Decorated Razor Box

Rare gentleman's razor box carved from block of pine wood.  No nails, very fine condition.  Slider top circa 1850. 8" long, 2 1/4" tall, 2 3/8" wide.  

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.

Fliegerbauer Song Bird Carving

Signed John Fliegerbauer (1909-1992, Altoona, PA) sprightly Red Eye carving.  The red-eyed vireo is a small, warbler-like American songbird.   5 1/2" long.  Perfect condition.

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.

Early Nantucket Basket

Extended fixed-handle, very early Nantucket basket (pre-1900), made by sailors/lightkeepers off the coast of Nantucket.  The nails are oxidized with time and the hardwoods of staves, handle, rim and bottom display the patina of age.  Simple "bread-loaf" shape ensures diversified utility for Nantucket and Cape Cod daily life.  Very fine condition with only a few minor rattan repairs.  A great piece of American history and folk art rarely found today.  8 1/2" long, 4" wide.  

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.

Charming Pennsylvania Folk Art Watercolor

A sweet, naïve watercolor painting depicting a man gallantly pulling a woman in a vivid red wheelbarrow. The man’s apparel suggests a date in the early 19th century (i.e., note cut of trousers and coat). The woman’s bonnet and cloak suggest Amish origin. A handwritten pencil dedication reads “Drawn by Morrice Don__r for his granddad __Mother”. Custom frame cut down from period birdseye maple frame. Size (frame): 10” wide, 9” high.

Chalkware Cat

Pennsylvania painted, rare, circa 1825 chalk ware cat. Exceptional presence, having multiple colors and fancy decoration. Original paint, no repairs. In mint condition. Size: 6 3/4″ tall.

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.


Large resting deer chalkware figure in MINT condition. 19th century, Pennsylvania origin. Size: 14 ½” tall, 16” wide at base.

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.