I do not operate an open shop but prefer instead to treat my interest in Americana in a more relaxed manner. Indeed, my primary preoccupation is teaching at the California Institute of Technology, which affords me the luxury of pursuing a tertiary interest in American history. This feeds my interest in Americana and gives me the flexibility to pursue offering a selection of American country and formal antiques that represent the best of what we might otherwise associate with Back East tastes and design. In fact, after 40+ years of collecting Americana, with the last two and a half decades spent scouring the estate sales and flea markets of Southern California, the time has come to begin letting go. What you’ll find here, then, are things from my personal collection with the occasional addition of some treasure I found in my ongoing compulsive hunting. Needless to say, there’s a full “L.L.Bean-type” no questions asked guarantee on anything I sell. I do make mistakes, but I try not to pass them on to anyone. Tel #s: 818-952-8106; 818-618-7984 (cell). Email address is email@example.com. Want to add that I've just finished a book on experiences, lessons learned, etc, so check out my website at www.ordeshookantiques.com. I warn though that the text is constantly under revision as new lessons and experiences arise.
Inscribed & dated 1780, this is a truly rare pair of German pewter candlesticks depicting miners with their axe (meter) as they commonly appear in parades ... miners from the ore mountains region of Freiberg (note the mining tools inscribed in the hat as they appear in parades). Standing 8 1/2" high, they are in perfect condition but could use a polishing.
a 22 inch diameter braided table rug or mat, perfect for the country kitchen or dining room table. She's in excellent condition, so my pictures tell the rest of the story.
here we have a graduated string of cast brass 19th century "petal" bells that begin with the #12 on down to the #4 (one #12, two #11, two #10, two #9, one #8, four #7, one #6, three #5, and two #4). Overall strap length (and the leather is in excellent condition) is 62". There is one bell (a #7) with a casting imperfection ... see my last picture), but otherwise everthing is in excellent condition
here we have a ca 1860s child's dress that ,with the exception of a small tear near the right shoulder (see my 2nd picture) is in excellent condition. Hand sewn, I am guessing that she's silk ... the weave is much too fine to be cotton. As for measurements, from neckline to hem, she's 19 1/2", from shoulder to hem appx 21 3/4" and from shoulder to shoulder 8 1/2 to 9 inches.
This is just an incredible piece ... an all wood hand carved snake (cobra) that, based on a rough measurement, would uncoil to something more than 7 feet. I'm sure the snake consists of more than one piece of wood but she's so finely made and retains its original painted surface that I can't detect seams and the only visible wood grain is the small worn patch ... not enough for me to identify the wood. Clearly, though, this is a masterpiece of folk art that I'd conservatively guess is early 20th century. As it sets, its maximum height is 19 3/8".
There are to my knowledge but 3 watercolor ship paintings and 4 reverse paintings of ships on glass by Whyte that I know of. One watercolor is in Franklin Roosevelt's Hyde Park home in NY, one at the Chicago Art Institute, and one in the NY Historical Society. Of Whyte's 4 known reverse ship paintings, one (the Hornet) is in a private Penna. collection, one (the Essex) in the Peabody Essex Museum, and the two offered here on Dig ... in this instance the USS Congress, commissioned in 1799 and the sister ship of the USS Constitution in Boston and USS Constellation in Baltimore. Dated 1814, she's signed (in reverse) by Whyte in the upper left corner, and denoted Boston Mass in the upper right. Framed dimensions are appx 15" x 13" with sight dim. of 11" x 8 7/8".
This is one of 4 known Isiah Whyte reverse paintings on glass of American ships and the second of two I am offering here on Dig. In this instance it is of the Perry (sic) dated 1814. There was of course no ship named the Perry in 1814. However, if one compares this profile to Admiral Perry's flagship in the Battle of Lake Erie (1813), the brig Lawrence, we see they are identical ... Whyte apparently simply didn't know the name of Perry's ship (Perry was also forced to transfer his flag to the brig Niagara but accepted the British surrender on the recaptured Lawrence, so there may have been confusion over the proper naming of the ship to be memorialized). Signed by Whyte in the upper left corner and denoted Boston Mass in the upper right. As for dimensions, she's 13 5/8" x 11 5/8" in her period and presumably original frame, 9 3/4" x 7 5/8" sight.
a mid 19th century felt on wool table runner or mat that measures appx. 44 3/4" x 19 1/2". Aside from a few scattered and unobtrusive tiny month holes to the background wool, she's in overall great condition with no need for repair or restoration (i.e., no missing felt).
A large (18" high appx 11" max diameter) alkaline glaze stoneware jug that I was told by its previous owner came from Tennessee (though I have no way of confirming that assertion). I am not sure, moreover, as to whether the incise mark shown in my 2nd picture is the letter J or a badly made 5. She is, however, without flaw (the appearance of a chip on the lip appears to have glaze over it so not sure it is in fact a post-manufacture flaw).
By "architectural" I mean a piece where the span on the blades is 24 3/4", where the height to the peak of the rotating red roof is appx. 30", where from front to back she's 24" and where the deck from one side to the other is 17 1/2". She's all hand made, bears her original worn paint, and functions perfectly -- the blade spins freely (the rear wheel serving as a tail was never made to spin) and the roof with the blade and tail rotate perfectly in the wind. There are no repairs of restorations. Most likely dates to the 1930s or 40s.
here we have a vintage (I'd guess 1930s or 40s) Coast Guard "trade" sign made of a single board (not plywood) measuring 48" x 9" and 100% original with its original painted surface
here is this absolutely impressive and monumental (32 1/2" long x 10 1/4" wide x 12" high) hand made locomotive made entirely of wood and tin and retaining its original paint throughout. The detail is incredible and I have no doubt conforms to the real thing. Its "signed" on the front with the date 1991 which is when I assume it was made. I have no idea, though, what the Kumquat Lumber Co. is. Insofar as I can tell, there are no apologies whatsoever ... this incredible piece of folk art is 100% right.
I say "semi-full bodied" simply to differentiate this piece from a sheet metal vane. The rooster here is upwards of 1 1/4" thick and made of 2 sheets of copper. He stands 26" tall (not counting the stand), 22" wide. The construction is a bit unusual, and while it might appear to be missing the point of the arrow below, it was made as shown ... any arrow would have been a separate piece. As for age, a 19th C attribution is but a guess ... it has obvious age and is not some contemporary reproduction, but its also obviously been polished so as to make any definitive attribution of age impossible. At least there's no phony chemically induced "patina". I have no idea as to its origin, but it nevertheless commands a presence in any early American country setting.
Herbert Mills (b. 1878, d. 1948) is buried in the military cemetery in San Antonio Texas and served as a 1st Lt in WWI. These five folk art carvings are all, with the exception of the WWI doughboy, signed "Herbert Mills San Antonio Texas ca 1928". One can presume that the doughboy (9 1/4" h) is Mills himself whereas the largest carving (10 7/8") is Punch from Punch & Judy. The man (10" h) reminds me of those cartoon-like drawings hanging on the walls of various restaurants corresponding to the celebrities who frequented that establishment from time to time. In any event, offered as a set ...
One would be hard pressed to argue that this sign is much older than, say, 1940, but even still, it is magnificent and painted with incredible skill. In fact, there is enough tell-tale evidence to suggest a ca 1940 attribution despite not being signed. And its not small: 48 1/2" x 33 3/8".
Although identical in height (87 1/2") and style, and although both take an approximate 30" corner (actually one takes a 28" corner and the other a 29" corner, counting the crown molding), they aren't a perfect match ... but they are darned close. Unfortunately, stored here in my laundry room, I can't set them up to be photographed side by side. But I think you get the idea here. The sole apology (they retain their original glass panes) that applies to both cupboards is that at one time someone removed the interior shelves of the upper sections and replaced them with professionally cut glass shelving (an easy restoration if you have some old wood, but not truly necessary). In any event, they are being offered here as a pair, so for the pair .....
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