Paint Decorated Tabletop Case of Ten Drawers

New England, likely Maine, ca. 1820-1840. Original paint decoration of black graining over red ground on what appears to be pine and basswood, retaining original turned wooden pulls. Each drawer dovetailed, and the base is also dovetailed to the sides rather than the typical nail joinery. High degree of originality with just a small patch on the top. The substantial backboard deeply chamfered about its edges. Cases of drawers like these were often used to store spices or medicines. Delightful small size of just 15 3/8 inches wide (at the top edges) x 14 ¾ tall x 7 ¼ deep.   

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Fine Pair
Ballroom Sconces

Probably New England, possibly Connecticut, ca. late 18th/early 19th century. Concave elliptical back-plates in rolled sheet iron dipped in molten tin originally to create highly reflective surfaces. Edges crimped for strengthening and decoration, the candlearms also reinforced with fluting and braces. Exceptionally fine dry surfaces. Substantial size at about 14 inches overall height by 8 ¾ wide. Provenance: Private Northeast collection. See The Collection of Susan and Raymond Egan, Northeast Auctions, August, 2006 for a similar grouping of ballroom sconces with known Connecticut origin.

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Fanciful
Paint Decorated Courting Mirror
.....SOLD

American, likely Northeast, ca. 1820-1840.  Untouched killer dry surface. Original paint on softwood, with red ground, black borders, and mustard-yellow decorative line striping. Rare, and perhaps unique mirrored-block corners accented with gilt-paint. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries small mirrors were among the gifts considered appropriate to be given to young women by their suitors. Tradition maintains they were called courting mirrors. Since fine quality mirrored glass was relatively scarce during that time, courting mirrors were not inexpensive gifts. About 19 ¼ inches tall x 15 ½ wide. Provenance includes Nikki and Tom Dupree, Suffield, CT, and Allan Katz, Madison, CT.

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Carved Spill Box.    Painted Treen. 
Northeastern America, ca. 18th Century. 
..... sale pending 

The front and side walls carved from the solid, of trapezoid cross-section, with the backboard joined via forged nails. Extensively chip-carved, also with a pinwheel and pierced heart and diamonds, the front with finals. Retains an early working-period highly-patinated white or over a paint history of red, blue, and charcoal/lamp black. Ancient minor loss where upper back edge meets side wall, and perhaps charring upper left. Quite a survivor. Probably held spills in period (for transferring flame) or tapers (small candlesticks). About 10 ¼ inches tall x 1 7/8 wide x 1 ½ deep. May be hung or stands upright on a horizontal surface.

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Iroquois
Double-Handled
Ash Burl Bowl
.....SOLD

Northeast, ca. 1780-1800. Ash/ash burl in original surface (never over-varnished), with soft sheen from many years of burnishing in hand. A very successful form with sweeping side-walls flowing up to pierced handles, in essence a Native American work of art. Note that this bowl is entirely worked by hand using scraping tools possibly including iron from early explorers, or natural tools such as beaver’s teeth. The underside with deeply carved foot. Superb hefty solid condition with a couple trivial edge checks. Versatile size of about 17 ½ inches long x 14 ¾ wide x 7 ½ deep. See North American Burl Treen, Steve Powers, for reference. I haven’t had this form in years. 



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Rare
Painted Decorated   SPICE CHEST
.....SOLD

Northeast, ca. third quarter, 19th century. Original paint on what appears to be white pine. Just reacquired from the collector to whom I sold it to years ago, this spice chest has a red/bittersweet/salmon base color (dependent upon lighting) with black painted lettering and line decoration. Note the whimsical variety of fonts used, and on some drawer fronts decorative flourishes, and also note the drawer widths vary. Hand-planed boards. Four drawers labeled CLOVES, NUTMEG, CINNAMON, and ALLSPICE. And four compartments, accessed by a slant lid, labeled MUSTARD, CREAM OF TARTAR, GINGER, and SODA. I have never encountered a similar piece in wood, only in tin. Drawers are nail constructed, with some reinforcing later nails added. About 8 inches tall x 14 wide x 6 7/8 deep. Terrific structural condition with expected minor blemishes to the paint. May have been for a home pantry or for a country store.

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Eastern Woodlands
Ash Burl
Maple-Sugaring Ladle.
....SOLD

Northeast, ca. 18th to early 19th century.   Remarkable rich, dark, historic dry surface, the patina chocolate brown with pleasing tones of red. There are three large gorgeous rose-head nails at the neck where the handle meets the bowl.

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Sweet Little Civil War Period Folk Art Townscape .
The closer you look, the more you will see. ...SOLD

Northeast to mid-Atlantic, ca. 3rd quarter, 19th century. Oil on sheet iron. Like a view through a time machine, the artist captured an idyllic village with a tight cluster of buildings including several homes and a large barn. Note the early architecture with central chimneys, and perhaps the town’s meeting house (the large three-story white building on the right). The artist carefully rendered fine detail, such as window muntin and if you look very carefully, a horse pulling a wagon or plow beneath the trees on the left. The beautiful little town is on a hillside above a river, separated by an orchard, with a rail fence in the foreground. One can barely make out more buildings in the distance at the horizon mid-left. The sun, low in the sky on the right, casts depth and drama across the scene, the artist rendering shadows on each tree or structure. The gold area outside the oval image and within the red border is part of the painting (as is the red border). The later yet appropriate frame begins at the gilt-liner just outside the red border. Overall frame size about 12 ½ inches wide x 9 ½ tall. Excellent condition, with craquelure and very minor touchup. A diminutive folk art treasure that tells a big story. HAPPY TO EMAIL HIGH RES PHOTOS SO YOU CAN ZOOM IN.

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