Folk Art

Charming Amateur Watercolor, Signed and Dated 1841

This engaging and imaginative watercolor is signed “Sara Shelly, 1841”. The Shellys were a prominent family in Hereford Township, Berks County, PA during the late 18th and 19th centuries. During the 19th century they were noted for producing a considerable body of folk artwork. This piece by Sara was very likely inspired by a very popular book, Anne of Geierstein, or The Maiden of the Mist (first published in 1829). This romantic historical novel by Sir Walter Scott features a hero and heroine from the Lancaster and the York families of England. The adventure story revived popular interest in The Wars of the Roses, a series of dynastic wars for the throne of England. The name Wars of the Roses refers to the heraldic badges associated with the two royal houses, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Size (excluding authentic period frame): 7 ½” X 9 ½”

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Signed Ellinger Strawberry Basket Theorem

David Y. Ellinger [American/Pennsylvania, 1913-2003] watercolor on velvet theorem depicts a basket filled with bright red strawberries. Signed on the front. The portrait of a basket of strawberries is an unusual theme for Ellinger, whose work most often features birds and floral motifs. 10 ¾ W X 10 ½H

Mennonite Rainbow Rag Carpet, Lancaster County, PA

This rainbow-striped carpet with a brown background less common than blue background) Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Never used, excellent condition. Length 12′ x width 38″. 144″H x 38″W

Pennsylvania Geburtsschein: Mary Hausel

Pennsylvania Geburtsschein (Birth Certificate) for Mary Hausel, born December 19th, 1829. Watercolor and ink on wove paper. Hand drawn, hand-colored and hand-lettered. Text in highly-ornamented calligraphy is complemented by brilliant red and green garland and wreath designs, no doubt to celebrate this birth near Christmas.

The red painted period frame measures 17” x 15 ½”. Professionally and archivally mounted.

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Quincy Watercolor-on-Velvet Memorial

Memorial watercolor on velvet, dated 1824 and inscribed to the memory of Mrs. Lucy Jillson.

This folk painting is executed in watercolor over a graphite drawing. Primarily in umber, blue and green, with the cream of the velvet, touched with blue, serving as clouds. This was a typical color palette among theorem paintings from this time. Text of inscription included below.

It was common in both memorial paintings and needlepoint memorials to have the printer/engraver’s notice attached or traced directly onto the work. By contrast, this sentimental tribute features a free-hand rendering of the obituary information.

A genealogical search of “Lucy Jillson” reveals: Lucy Saville(109) was born on 15 Sep 1797. She died on 15 Jul 1824 in Norwich, Connecticut.  Parents: Samuel Saville. She was married to Seth Jillson on 28 Oct 1822. Children were: Seth Sherman Jillson. 25″H x 23″W

to the
Mrs. Lucy Jillson
"Consort of Mr. Seth Jillson
daughter of Dr. Josiah Savil of
Quincy who died July 1824
In the 27 year of her Age
"Farewell mild saint child of love farewell
Ill can this stone thy fin'st virtues tell
Go live for Heavens of eternal year is thine
Go and exalt the mortal to divine
Where joy divine and unembittered flow
Where love, and endless pleasures flow"

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