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. 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.
Measuring 33" long x 11" high x 8 1/2" deep, this dimensional portrayal of a old Western saloon scene is, if anything, an example of someone superb skill with a jig saw. The imagery includes someone being robbed, a "floozy" on a piano with the piano player, two cowboys drinking beer, another 'floozy' fanning herself, a bartender waiter, 4 cowboys at the bar and a bartender -- a total of 13 people, along with the bar itself, bottle on a shelf, etc. Constructed entirely of pine, there isn't admittedly, great age here ... surely post WWII. But there is a definite unique folkiness to this diorama that hopefully my pictures capture.
Standing 11 3/4" high on her pedestal, I originally thought she might have been a swimmer, preparing to dive. However, her boots belie that suggestion, so your guess is as good as mine as to who/what she is. Hand carved of pine and a classic example of naive folk art, I note simply that her left hand was never completed.
Here we have a ca 1900 or earlier folk art carving of a man, in walnut, that stands 11 3/4" high with movable arms. Superbly done and a legitimate item of early folk art carving.
Here is a magnificent matched pair of 19th century walnut oval frames with mirrors that are, quite frankly, the best of the best. Both measure 23" x 20 1/4" x 2 1/4" (and weight 8lbs, 10ozs), with sight dimensions to the mirrors of 16" x 13 1/4" (which determines the thickness of the frames to be 3 1/2"). Both frames, moreover are made of two pieces of walnut joined by dovetails (see my 3rd picture) as an indication of the quality of their construction. Quite frankly, you wont find a better pair of oval frames ... and both are in excellent condition.
Offered here is this absolutely spectacular ca 1900 tramp art frame with six levels that retains it original multicolored paint. She measures, overall, 34 1/4" x 22 1/4", and takes a 26 3/8" x 14 3/8" image or mirror. Comprised of 6 levels, she's in fact 3 1/8" deep at the corners. The colors are red, green, yellow and black. However, notice that rather than simply paint the various levels different colors, the painting in this case is executed with exceeding care to that the surface of a level is a different color than the triangle chip cuts, thereby providing an absolutly unique contrast to those cuts.
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.
here is this early 20th C single sided carnival gaming or gambling wheel that's 35 1/2" in diameter and retains all of its original paint without touchup or embellishment. Aside from the usual scuffs, she is missing 5 metal pins and is otherwise 100% original.
Offered here is this uncommon tramp art pedestal side table. It stands 27 1/2" tall with a 15 1/4" square top and a 16 1/2" square base. Both the base and pedestal are made in a rather unusual way ... multiple strips of notched wood laid side by side as can be seen in my pictures. Insofar as condition is concerned, several of the bottom level saw teeth tips have been rebuilt, and there is one 3 inch strip of the top's galley replaced. With these restorations she's wholly complete with no missing parts.
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.
Relatively common are the 'made in Asia' silk on silk embroideries sold to American sailors depicting the American flag, eagle, etc. Far less common are images of the ships on which they served and here is one of them, the American battleship USS Oregon. Also common with silk on silk images is deterioration of the silk. Here, however, everything is in absolutely perfect untouched condition with bright and crisp coloring to both the silk and any painted accents. Measuring with its mat 26 1/2" x 20 1/2", the image itself of the ship bordered by the silk cord measures 18" x 12 1/2". This item still retains its original newspaper backing (see my last image), which allows us to identify Japan as its origin with a date of 1901.
Here is a truly monumental Masonic Tramp Art frame that measures 38 1/2" x 32 1/2", with sight dimensions of 26" x 20". With 13 levels at the corners, a crown as its centerpiece, and Masonic symbols to both sides, this is indeed a rarity, and honestly the largest tramp frame I've ever encountered. Insofar as condition is concerned, she's perfect with no missing pieces, and notice moreover the contrasting light and dark woods for a truly impressive presentation.
Here is an absolutely fantastic bit of depression-era American folk art ... a pair of hand carved, hand painted bookends in the form or two boys pushing against the books. Each bookend measures 7 1/2" high x 6 1/2" wide x 3 3/4" deep. I emphasize that the paint is wholly original and untouched.
Here is an oil on canvass painting of a Midwest homestead signed N.M Thomas and dated 1886. A sod roof outbuilding (see my second picture) offers a symbolic narrative of the pioneering spirit of the early American pioneers. One suspects that the sod building was the original homestead used before the farm house shown in my 3rd picture. The painting is in very good condition though glued down to a sheet of Masonite, and measures 24” by 14”.
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 wonderful silk on linen sampler by a Miss Sally (or Sarah) Collyer, age 9, worked, as the first line of the sampler says, in Marbelhead (Massachusetts) March 25, 1801. Admittedly, Sally's name at the bottom of the sampler is a tad difficult to read, but becomes apparent under black light. The second and third lines are the alphabet plus numbers 1 to 13. The remaining 10 lines are a verse that, frankly, I've made minimal effort at reading. This is, moreover a rather large sampler, measuring 21" x 16" and is without flaw ... no holes, missing threads, etc.
Not sure, of course, whether this is schoolboy or schoolgirl folk art, but it is unique. A 19th C watercolor that's animated by the pulling of strings. Pull one string in back and the two men will move together or back to their respective houses. Pull another string and the shade to the upper right window rises or falls. And pull a third string and the chimney sweep rises from or drops into the chimney. All obviously hand crafted, drawn and colored. Framed in a ca 1840 mahogany veneered frame it measures 13 1/2" x 12 1/2" with sight dimensions beneath the new matting of 6 1/2" x 5".
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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