Portrait of ELIZABETH MYGANS (Betsy)
Saugerties, New York, ca. 1834......As described by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: “In the 1830’s, Phillips was the most successful portraitist on the New York-Connecticut border, painting the local gentry with boldness and withering honesty. This portrait of a young woman from Saugerties, New York, is typical of Phillip’s work of this period—the sitter leans forward in her chair, the black-and-white color scheme is enlivened by the red-and-yellow book, and the ribbons and folds of her translucent, lace-trimmed bonnet complement her elaborate hair style. However, Elizabeth Mygans seems to have charmed the painter, for her portrait is more pleasing than most”.
Choice Theorem on Linen with Rare Trapunto “Quilting”
Northeast, ca. 1840. Strong colors and character, appears to be oil and watercolor paints on linen. Made with rarely seen (on a theorem) “trapunto” quilting that is a “stuffed technique.” A puffy, decorative feature, trapunto uses two layers, the underside of which is slit and padded, producing a raised surface. The green foliage, and watermelon, and base of the basket are made in this manner. The composition and color contrasts are exceptional, the yellow basket bursting with fruits, with yellows, greens, bright reds, blues, and an orange-winged butterfly. Related to the desirable group of “watermelon” theorems. Expected unobtrusive staining and toning. Likely the original gilt ripple frame. Versatile smaller size, of frame about 17 ¼ inches x 14. Private Northeast collection.
YARN-SEWN HEARTH RUG
Featuring an Enigmatic
New England, ca. 1820 to 1830. Fine wool and cotton on linen, mounted for display. A tour de force of folk art created by a talented young woman artist. She was a meticulous needle worker, stitching remarkably-even raised loops, especially noticeable in the urn. Her design has a bursting of color and texture as she flanked the already over-flowing urn with bouquets of more flowers. In this period gardens of flowers were often an extravagance, so the bold representation of so many indicates optimism and abundance. Don’t miss the single blue tulip, positioned almost at the very center. Symbolism? Blue tulips (that did not naturally occur) are thought to have symbolized tranquility and peace, trust and loyalty. This artwork has survived in amazing condition with almost no wear, as it was created and intended as decoration, likely to cover the hearth-stone (as the hearth was unused in the summer months), not as an underfoot floor piece. Mounted dimensions of about 62 inches wide x 28 tall. Pictured and discussed in AMERICAN SEWN RUGS, THEIR HISTORY WITH EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLES, Jan Whitlock with Tracy Jamar, 2012, pages 4 and 70; LIGHT FROM THE PAST, Early American Rugs from the Collection of Ronnie Newman, page 25 as exhibited in the Kresge Foundation Gallery of the Ramopo College of New Jersey, 2004. Paraphrasing
Folk Art Portrait of an Engaging Young Man .....Born During the
War of 1812.
American, probably New England, dated 1829. Oil on wooden panel. The young man identified on the back in script-pencil as HC Pond, born Dcm (December) 18-1812, painted in 1829 age 17. Research shows an HC Pond, from Litchfield, CT, served during the Civil War, enlisting in the 1st Artillary, Dec 1, 1863, and mustered out September 25, 1865.