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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don't think a wall hanging salt box can be made any more delicate than this one ... carefully dovetailed all around with cut nails for the bottom ... she measures but 7" high x 6 5/8" wide x 5" deep. There are no issues whatsoever and being made of poplar, she's American.
Offered here is this 19th century 9 inch diameter (5 1/2" high) bentwood pantry box with its original bail handle, lid and early green paint. In overall excellent condition, the sole apology is the small chip at the base of the lap joint as shown in my 3rd picture.
I have frankly never seen a basket with such fantastic patina and I hope my pictures capture it fully. Also, given its construction (see especially picture 3) I think it can be dated to the mid 19th C at the latest. As for dimensions, she's appx 10 1/2" round x 9 1/2" high. There are a couple of minor brakes in the splint, but on a scale of 1 to 10 I'd grade her 9.9.
I honestly have no idea how to categorize this piece or even date it. Aside from the painted background, I'm guessing the trees and leaves are made or plaster much as one creates dimensions background in a ship diorama. This is of course a diorama, but not like one I've ever seen before. As for dimensions, framed she's 23" x 15" with sight dimensions of 19" x 11". Not sure what else to say about this unique example of folk art, aside to note that the image in my mind mimics California desert scene with its Yucca trees.
Aside from some circular scratches on one side, this candle box is absolutely pristine. In fact, I had to take a good hard look to make certain she was 19th century ... but she definitely is (with t-nail construction on the base). Uncommon in that she locks (no, I don't have a key), the poplar bottom identifies this as American. Measuring 12" x 7 3/4" x 8" high, owing to two pegs at the underside end of the slide lid, that lid does not come off.
Price: ON HOLD
Offered here is this lidded Scandinavian pantry box in early and I'd guess original blue paint. Measuring (at the lid) 15 1/4" x 9" x 6 3/4" high (4 5/8" to the top of lid, 4 1/4" to rim of base) the sole apology is the wear to the edges of the lid as seen in my pictures.
Offered here is this primitive or naive folk art style oil on artist board farm scene in its original frame. Unsigned, its somewhat difficult to date but my best guess is ca 1900, possibly a tad earlier. The paining is in excellent untouched condition (there has been gilt touchup to the frame). In its frame measures 31" x 20 3/4" whereas the painting itself measures 25" x 15". Notice though that thge main building is too complex/large for a typical farmhouse .. seems more in keeping with being a meeting house for any of dozens communal societies that existed in the uS in the 19th C.
Thgis 19th century theorem on velvet is in perfect condition, with but minimal tonong to the background, and vibrant colors throughout. Sight dimensions are 23" x 17 3/4".
The first question is: Is this of the period (ca 1790), and frankly I'm not sure. I'd tend to doubt it but can find no contrary evidence ... and as my 3rd picture shows, the back reveals all the hand chiseled tool marks of a legitimate period piece. Be that as it may, I'll price it as mid-19th C just to be safe. As for dimensions, she's 40 1/2" x 22 1/4", with obviously replaced backboard and mirror. Two lower ears to one side broke and are reglued (but not replaced).
Here's a beauty ... a miniature 19th century jelly cupboard bearing its original paint. The sole apology is the replaced back and backsplash. Measuring 22" high (not counting the backsplash) x 16 1/2" wide x 11 1/2" deep.
Here is a wonderful American School (19th century) oil on canvas hunting landscape with Daniel Boone like trailblazing figure with musket and powder horn, with his four hunting dogs at the side of a dead stag, signed to the lower right J. MEADE (from Maine, United States). The canvas in its original silver gilded frame, fastened by the original hand cut wrought iron square nails (it has never been out). Dimensions 14 x 20in; framed 24 1/4 x 18 1/4in. The painting is in excellent condition, no major issues, craquelure throughout as expected. The original silver gilt frame too in great shape is a bonus to the folky deer hunt subject. My only apology is a scuff to the upper center of the canvas, but nothing major, measuring approximately 1 1/2".
Offered here is an excellent American Theorem painting on velvet, first half 19th century, probably of Maine or Northeast origin. In stunning condition, minimal wear overall. The back with possibly the original signature and greeting inscribed in pencil, "Miss Nancy Dulton Ellsworth ME" (Maine), this is now cut out and re-attached to the back of the new framing. Height 18in (45cm); width 22in (55cm); framed 25 3/4 x 28 3/4in. Condition is great, and better than most other examples you often see. Some light brownish toning to areas of velvet as seen in the photographs. No apparent damages, in-painting or repairs. Professionally framed, matted and glazed.
a single sided wood framed on tin trade sign advertising Peter's Press (whoever that might have been), she's 100% original without touchups to the paint, etc. Measuring 33 1/4" x 19 3/4" x 1 1/8", if I had to date her I'd say 1920s or 30s based on the lettering style.
This is simply one spectacular and monumental example of early 20th C Tramp Art ... a 5-drawer jewelry or trinket box (and calling it a box does it no justice) that stands appx 22" high (x 16" wide x 10 1/2" deep). With 7 levels to the drawer faces and 8 to the sides, she's in overall superb condition with the one exception of the missing side handle to the left side of the top tier. Notice in particular now the somewhat unusual quality of the chip carving ... more than the common triangular chips, they're actually slanted ovals interspersed with small cuts. Made with better quality wood that usual for tramp art, the only identifying mark I can find on the piece is the bottom of the top drawer that leads me to conjecture an American origin.
Yes, it's lost some height ... I'd guess between 1 to 2" (current seat height is 15 1/2"). BUT, just look at that crest rail ... if it isn't one-of-a-kind, its only because its maker made more than one. All cherry except for the ash or chestnut turned stretchers, so odds are it was never painted. Almost surely New England in origin, but I can't pin it down more than that (although if forced to make a guess, I'd say Connecticut). Seat most likely isn't original, but it's real rush so probably 19th century. As for dimensions, she's 21 1/4" across the front, 15" deep, 44 1/4" high.
Offered here is this Massachusetts (North Shore or Boston) tilt top mahogany candlestand with a serpentine top. She stands 26 3/4" high, with a top that measures 23" diagonal corner to corner (appx 16 3/4" square) with an appx toe-to-toe spread of 16 3/4" to the feet. Beautifully formed with no repairs whatsoever, she bears an early and possibly original surface and is thus in original untouched condition.
Offered here is this late 18th or early 19th century two-candle "table model" adjustable tin table model candle stand. Overall height is 29 1/2", diameter of the weighted cone base is 6 1/2" and spread on the arms of the candle holder is appx 10". Both candle sockets are pushups. The candle holder arms are actually made in 3 pieces ... two arms and a center leather ring that connects to the two arms. It was that leather ring that originally provided the friction that held the arms in place together at whatever height was chosen. Over time, though, that ability, due to wear, was lost, so I inserted an additional felt washer that is invisible but provides the necessary friction so that the candle holder operates as intended. There appears to be some spot soldering repairs, but nothing obtrusive and the candle holder is otherwise wholly original.
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 ...
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