Ordeshook's Antiques

Peter C. Ordeshook | Carmel Rd La Canada, California 91011 | 818-952-8106 | mordess@aol.com

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 mordess@aol.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.


long necked working glass eye goose decoy

Offered here is this long necked goose working decoy bearing its original paint and most likely executed by Wisconsin carver Mike Borette. Measuring appx 29 1/2" x 8 1/2" wide x 8 1/2" high

Price: SOLD

2020-Jul-19 11:31pm EDT | Tags : Decoys

19th C horse pulltoy, wood, straw & oil cloth

Offered here is this fantastic 19th century large horse pull toy made of wood, straw and white painted oil cloth. She's 100% original without restoration including its rather elaborate leather harness arrangement. Measuring 25 1/2" high (subtract 3" for height of horse alone) x 23 1/2" long x 6" deep (9" at the base), there is the evident wear to the oil cloth as seen in my pictures, but no torn or shattered sections. The wheels are somewhat unusual ... cast iron and wood of the sort normally found on furniture, they are nevertheless original to the piece.

Price: SOLD

2020-Jul-19 11:26pm EDT | Tags : Primitives Horse pull toy

ca 1870 Miniature walnut 2-part stepback cupboard

Offered here is this ca 1870 miniature walnut 2-part stepback cupboard with upper glazed doors and dovetailed drawers. With measurements taken at the base, she measures 27 1/8" high x 17" wide x 10 3/4" deep. Can't say if the glass is original but it has enough wave to it to suggest that it is. Aside from the knob to one drawer being a replacement, there are three apologies ... the patch to an upper door at a hinge, a patch to a lower door at a hinge, and a repair done by me to the leading edge of the top of the base section .

Price: $450

2020-Jun-06 06:24pm EDT | Tags : Folk Art Miniatures

American economic development and today's antiques

Though generally acknowledged to be the richest industrial power of the 19th century, the United Kingdom was within that century overtaken on nearly all dimensions of wealth and productivity by the United States. Our interest here is not offering an explanation for how that was accomplished, but instead in identifying the processes of economic development that were either qualitatively or quantitatively unique to America and which left footprints reflected in the things we today classify as 18th and 19th century American antiques. What, for example, does the fact of hand stitched quilts as a quintessential American folk art form tell us about how or why America developed as it did in comparison to Europe and the UK? What do we learn about the unique elements of America’s economic growth from its manufacture of apple peelers and cast iron stoves? Give me your email and I will send you a free PDF copy of this 28 page essay.

Price: Free

2020-Apr-17 01:26pm EDT | Tags : American History

miniature 18th / early 19th C hanging "chandelier"

Here is a true rarity in antique lighting ... a miniature 18th or early 19th century 2-candle "chandelier" ... and I'm calling it a chandelier only because its designed to be hung. Overall width is 9 3/4", height, excluding the two sections of wire for hanging, 7 3/4" (the two wire sections add 11 1/2"). The sole apology is the small age crack shown in my 3rd picture and the tack someone inserted many moons ago for no apparent reason.

Price: $995

2020-Apr-17 12:11pm EDT | Tags : Lighting

all wood 19th C Firehouse / Fireman's hose winder

Here is a rarity ... an all wood (except for the iron axial of the wheel) firehouse / fireman's 19th century hose winder. And the paint is 100% original. She measures 29" high x 20 1/4" deep, with a wheel diameter of 28". There are no broken or replacement parts ... incredible condition for something that most likely dates to the 1860s or 70s. A heads up, though: It doesn't disassemble so shipping FedEx ground would run in the vicinity of $200.

Price: $425

2020-Mar-11 11:25pm EDT | Tags : Fireman's collectibles

J. MEADE 19th C American School O/C Hunting Scene

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".

Price: $395

2020-Feb-15 09:52pm EST | Tags : Folk Art Paintings

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.

Price: $1,195

2020-Feb-15 12:07pm EST | Tags : Theorem Folk Art

1812 Pennsylvania (Northhampton County) Fraktur

Measuring 15 3/4" x 13" (21 3/4" x 17 3/4" in its contemporary frame), this all hand drawn and lettered Fraktur is in excellent condition as my pictures show.

Price: $850

2020-Jan-13 12:49pm EST | Tags : Fraktur Folk Art

single sided framed & on tin trade sign

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.

Price: $275

2019-Nov-04 10:55am EST | Tags : Primitives Trade Sign

Tramp Art 5-drawer, 7 & 8 tier "box"

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.

Price: $750

2019-Nov-01 04:36pm EDT | Tags : Folk Art Tramp Art

Dated 1886 O/C painting of Midwest homestead

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”.

Price: $175

2019-Aug-19 02:31am EDT | Tags : Folk Art Paintings

One-of-a-kind ca 1760 Cherry Bannister back chair

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.

Price: $225

2019-Apr-29 03:46pm EDT | Tags : Chair Folk Art

18th C Mass. serpentine tilt top candlestand

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.

Price: $1,250

2019-Apr-16 06:53am EDT | Tags : Candle stand

Unique 19th C animated schoolboy / girl watercolor

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".

Price: $150.00

2018-Feb-01 03:35am EST | Tags : Folk art

18th early 19th C adjustable tin dual candlestand

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.

Price: $425.00

2017-Nov-25 08:41am EST | Tags : Lighting Decorative accessories

Five signed ca 1928 Folk Art carvings, original paint

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 ...

Price: $395.00

2015-Nov-17 03:00pm EST | Tags : Folk art


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