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Rare Ash Burl
One of only two known Northeast, ca. 1760-1780 pending

Turned from one knot of densely figured ash burl, the upper bowl with an interior lip that extends into the lower to allow them to fit together. Both bowls footed. When flipped the cover can be used as a bowl of equal size to the base.

Unquestionably by the same hand as the example in the renowned Katcher collection, which has been described as an ingenious “American Treen Masterpiece”  (more)

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Folk Art Painting

The Franklin House
& Stage House

ca. 1840-1860.


Originally built by Langley Boardman, a wealthy cabinetmaker (his impressive home still stands today). In the early 19th century he built two apartment houses on the north side of Congress Street that became the Portsmouth Hotel and Stage House, where passengers boarded stagecoaches bound for Portland, Concord, and Boston. Later owners upgraded or replaced the buildings with the Franklin House and Franklin Hall, and the property became known as the Franklin Block. Inside the arched second floor window of Franklin Hall was a "spring floor" designed to absorb the bouncing of many dancers. The Freemasons met upstairs......(more)

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Whimsical Carved Painted Hogscraper Candlesticks

Rarities that I have never seen!

American, 19th century. Original polychrome paint on pine/poplar. These are not functioning candlesticks, rather delightful “just for nice” faux hogscrapers and candles, carved from wood.

The example with gold and red base is ca. 1840, beautifully developed with dry patinated paint. The one with black-painted base is likely a bit later (ca. 1860), made to emulate the first, with a bit less patination and slightly less developed. Superb well cared-for structural condition, with paint wear on the column of the earlier candlestick.

Each about 6 ¾ inches tall. Provenance: Private Northeast collection purchased from Richard (Smitty) Axtell.

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Unique and Remarkable
Paint Decorated Hanging Cupboard

Among the Finest Known. 

American, Midwest to Northeast, ca. 1840.

With a bold color pallet, and design emphasizing verticality, this masterwork is a fusion of recessed panels painted with captivating vining, the vining tapering from bottom to top to further emphasize verticality. The colors are a harmony of russet-red, mustard, forest green, and white.

Appears to be maple and pine, joinery by cut nails, wooden pegs, and screws that hold panels together. Excellent condition with expected minor imperfections. Paint has mostly weathered away from the heads of front-facing screws. The door wants to swing open unless lightly wedged or tilted slightly backwards.

About 34 inches tall x 22 wide x 6 ¾ deep.

This piece transcends being furniture, inviting comparison with the most esteemed folk art paintings. One will not find another remotely like it. A treasure deserving a place amongst the most distinguished collections.   

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Folk Art Painting
ca. 1840-1860.

Oil on canvas.
Discover a captivating still life that bridges time and imagination. Painted during the period of American Fancy, this painting is a window into a realm where art bursts forth in vivid hues and playful patterns, igniting the senses.
I see luscious fruits floating in warm tropical waters (note the bubbles). At the heart of this artistic journey stands a then scarce symbol of luxury and hospitality: the pineapple. In a departure from conventional still life compositions, this painting embraces innovation, placing its fruity subjects floating on the water, rather than confining them to traditional urns or baskets.

The intrigue deepens......

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Singular Double-Pocket Painted Hanging
Wall Basket

American, probably Northeast, ca. mid-19th century.

Woodsplint, with sensational patinated dry original paint that appears as gray or sage, depending upon lighting. A rare sophisticated form solidly architected with two pockets or wells, the top of the back opened to permit hanging (perhaps the opening long ago widened).

May also rest on a horizontal surface if it can lean against a wall. This basket has a wall presence normally reserved for top-shelf painted wood wall boxes.

Overall height about 16 ½ inches x 7 wide x 5 ¼ deep. From a private collection, purchased years ago from Gail Piatt (Exeter, NH), who purchased it many years before that from the dealer Marion Szala (Hadley, Massachusetts).

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Painted “Fragment-Size” Mirror

Probably Northeast, ca. 1840. In deep reddish-brown paint on softwood. Original glass. T

he chamfered backboard stenciled with F. NAU, and written in pencil “proprietor”. The back frame also stenciled with FN. The inscriptions on the back suggest this little mirror was used in a public setting, perhaps a store, where the proprietor wanted to make sure it didn’t get taken away.

Two minor hairlines. About 5 3/8 inches tall x 4 wide x 3/8 thick.

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Striking Rare Inlaid Cherry Candlestand
Attributed to
NATHAN LUMBARD Worcester County, MA
ca. 1800.

Cherrywood, with serpentine-shaped top of figured cherrywood, with striped-inlaid hearts at the corners and centered by an inlaid pinwheel. The column features a deeply carved spiral fluted urn, supported by a tripod base with distinctive spurred knees.....   

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Rarely found Brewster miniature in watercolor on paper

New England, ca. 1820.

Attributed to John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854) the celebrated deaf-mute artist raised in a highly cultured family with seven brothers and sisters. He worked as an itinerant portrait painter along the New England coast. As a result of his extraordinary concentration, exemplary artistic skills, and especially his ability to “see” (given that he could not communicate verbally with his subjects), he was able to capture unique portraits that revealed the sitters’ nuanced personalities.
A note attached to the back reads:..... 

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