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Antique Folk Art Parcheesi Gameboard

New England, ca. 1860 to 1875. A colorful country example with a folk-art aesthetic that is more appealing than many of the professionally produced examples. Original dry paint on what appears to be basswood. Folding form with original hinges, with breadboard ends joined by cut nails. Dry, alligatored painted surface. Note how the corner-circles rotate in color position, an unexpected feature that provides movement and energy. About 22 inches x 21.

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Watercolor Ship Portrait MINIATURE

New Bedford, Massachusetts, dated on back 1846 and signed George F(? )Fletchers. Watercolor on paper, mounted on card, presented in a tiny frame of just 3 x 2 1/2 inches. New Bedford was the leading US whaling port in the 19th century. Research does not reveal a ship named after Fletchers, however there is reference to co-partner "victuallers" (restaurant and bar) owners David S. Fletcher and George F. Fletcher. They had a new structure erected by the housewrights Gifford and Cook, on the west side of Sixth Street in 1838, of 20 feet front , 37 deep and 10 high (the record also provides interesting detail of the specifications for this construction, which I am happy to share). The ship illustrated was likely involved in supply of this restaurant, or perhaps was a vessel owned or crewed by patrons of this restaurant. Historic little watercolor that would benefit from period glass for the frame.

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Portrait Miniature of a Young Woman by Jane Anthony Davis

Probably Rhode Island or Connecticut, ca. 1830's. Watercolor on wove paper in a terrific figured-burl frame with corner-blocks. Characteristic Davis features include a black dress, full-face angled a bit to the right (not in profile), blue and white highlights, and mid-length. Note the tiny hands holding a book. Exceptionally puffy sleeves on the forearm fashionable in the early 1830's, with lace trim. Frame size about 7 5/8 inches x 7 1/8. Reference: See "Three New England Watercolor Painters" pp 42-55 for other portraits by Davis..

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A LITTLE MASTERWORK(!!!) PORTRAIT OF A BABY BOY WITH RIDING CROP

New England, ca. 1845. One of the finest Prior-school portraits of this type known. Attributed to William Mathew Prior . Oil on board. The inviting warm color palette complemented by the striking, unique, paint decorated frame. The shape of the lips and eyes, and softness of the face are exceptional. The child centering colorful draped swags with rim lighting. Note red corals at each sleeve of the delicate, lace-trimmed dress, the coral typically worn by children as it was believed to ward off evil. He grasps a riding crop, a device sometimes held in portraits as they were a common gift for boys in this period. Even though way too young to ride a living horse or pony, he could saddle-up with his crop on his rocking horse. The paint decorated frame is a treasure on its own, yet combined with the portrait creates a singular presence. Overall frame size about 18 inches x 13 3/4. Exceptional condition. Provenance: Distinguished private collection for decades. A rare opportunity to acquire an iconic folk art image.

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Elaborate Folding Box Chess Gameboard.

American, ca. 1870. Dovetail and cut-nail joinery. Rendered by a skilled "coach painter" who demonstrated the effort that was sometimes made to elevate a friendly game board into also a work of art, including extending decoration to the side-walls such that they would be visible from across the room. The outer-side with red and black painted squares, with elaborate borders of gilt- or bronze-powder painted Greek Key and Fleur-de-lis within dark-green fields. The side walls also painted in large Greek Key. The Greek Key had many historic symbolisms, including the eternal life, eternal love and eternal friendship. The back/inside is backgammon, with strong colors yet wear as shown. All original. May be hung, or creates an appealing presentation when stood on end partly open. Open about 18 inches wide x 15 ¾ tall x 1 ¾ deep (at the molding).

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