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Portrait of a young girl in a pink dress holding roses, a classic example of his best portraiture of young children. Original condition and signed W.M. Prior 1848, in script on reverse side of the canvas. New England. 16 1/4" X 22 1/4"



Attributed to Abraham Delanoy, Jr., American (1742-1795)

This portrait, early in date for an American portrait, gets its charm from the very characteristics that make it different from those which follow more English traditions of the period. The child's gaze is at the viewer (or the artist) and has a casual affect, not the more formal impression of English portraiture. She is posed in a three-quarter length standing pose, and her hands on the basket match the sensitivity seen in her gaze. Her red dress is trimmed in white lace, a costume seen in other works of children attributed to Delanoy.

The attribution of this painting to Abraham Delanoy, Jr. is made through stylistic comparisons with known Delanoy portraits of the family of John Sherman of Connecticut. The artist was previously referred to as the Sherman Limner, and the girl in the red dress is very similar stylistically to the portrait of David Austin Sherman. Two portraits of Sherman children are considered lost, and this may be one of them. There is no question that our young girl and the Sherman family portraits are by the same hand.

In the portrait of Mrs. Sherman there is a very similar basket that contains the same fruits: a bunch of white and blue grapes, and two peaches. Delanoy is considered to have been one of the most gifted painters practicing in the Colonies in the 1780's.

Please see DOCUMENTATION for complete condition report and publication references. Oil on canvas, 30 x 22



Portrait of a Young Lady by William Kennedy (1818- after 1870) dated 1845.

Marvelously intense, serious yet sensitive, this young woman is a masterpiece of adult folk portraiture in the Prior tradition of producing inexpensive portraits quickly, yet capable, as was Prior, of perceptive observation and skillful design.

The details of translucent lace, a mosaic brooch, and a dreamy landscape that frames her upper body, surrounded otherwise by evening light and holding a red book that could not in the darkness be read.

The painting is wonderfully preserved and signed and dated on the backboard and frame. Later notation, pencil inscribed, relates, "French family her aunt Solt in Bristol/Aunt of Mrs. Lorenzo Sherman/ Kingston Rhode Island."

The work is 20 x 14 1/2 inches, on artists' board with a traditional wooden backboard behind it and framed in a mahogany veneered frame from which the liner has been removed to expose more of the painting's edges.



Small oil on panel portrait of a woman, painted in profile and in a black painted, fluted frame with flower decorated corner blocks that is period or possibly original. The frame retains it original wire and cloth hanger.

The panel is only 5 7/8 by 7 inches ( framed 7 1/2 x 9 7/8 inches). The painting is untouched and has a beautiful scored and now crackled surface.

Our sitter, a young woman, has the curls of the early 1820's, and she wears jet beads and a red shawl with her black dress. Light surrounds her, creating a striking small image.



The Red Lady

This mystery woman, her name and her painter are unknown to us, is surrounded by the color red- the voluminous, billowing drape, the red Federal sofa, her shawl, her red lips, even the column is lightly tinted with red.

In folk portraiture the profile portrait is usually reserved for small portraits on paper. It is unusual in a full-sized portrait.
Likewise the use of aerial perspective, a color fading as it recedes into the distance, is rare. Here the drapery turns from red to a shadowed gray behind her, implying a deep space. Front and center, her portrait shines, a wonderful glowing, etherial image of a beautiful young woman.
25 x 30 inches and in a period gilded frame. Probably New England circa 1825.



Volcano in the Tropics by Thomas Chambers.

Painted with the visual drama and luxurious color that typifies Chambers' best works, this painting is further enhanced by detailed florals in the foreground and its wonderful exotic subject matter.

In excellent condition (report included), period frame, and old gallery label. Bought from a New York City estate. 18 x 24 inches unframed.


A Pair of Fine Portraits

The woman is a beauty with a haunty expression but fine features, bejewelled and elegantly attired. Her husband, while good looking, is quieter and more reserved in appearance. He holds a large book and is seated on a chair that matches that on which his wife is seated.

Excellent condition, in original deeply curved mahogany frames, 25 x 30 inches and 35 x 40 inches in frames. American. Circa 1845. Oil on canvas.



Homestead sold

Compote of Fruit still available. $34,000

Two Painted on Poplar Fireboards from the Mary Jarvis Family Homestead

One of the fireboards is decorated with a compote framed by pink drapes, a very rare decorative motif for a fireboard, and the other bears a simple landscape scene, presumably of the family homestead.  Both are painted by the same unidentified artist.

Mary Jarvis's memorial celebration to honor her mother led to the custom of honoring all mothers with the observation of Mother's Day.

Webster, West Virginia.  Circa 1825-1830.

Fireboard with compote is 38 1/2 by 42 inches and the family homestead fireboard is 38 by 37 1/2 inches.


Oil on panel portrait of a man, seated at a table which holds a book, paper, and inkwell and his quill pen. Columns flank him on each side, and his gaze, directed backward, counter-balances the leftward weight of the over-all composition.

Dated 1834 in pencil on the back and marked "Taken at Otis, Mass." An inscription noting descent lists "Miss English" and "Miss Frannie Chesbro"?"" Unidentified artist. Gilded frame. Excellent condition,

Image is 10 1/2 by 12 1/4 inches and frame is 14 by 16 inches.


Portrait of Ann Miller Tompkins


A Portrait of Ann Miller Tompkins (1813-1894)

By Ammi Phillips

This portrait epitomizes the graceful female poses of the artist's Kent period style (1829-1838) and is an example from a small group of portraits in which he exaggerated the sitter's wide oval neckline and adorned it with lace that forms a pendant, scalloped border to a dress with a tight upper sleeve design that balloons from the elbow before it tapers to a narrow cuff. Ann, like the other women from this group, rests one arm on a table with a book while holding an object, here a sprig of parsley.

Ann Miller was born in Somers, New York and married John M. Tompkins. They are buried in the cemetary of the Tomahawk Chapel in Somers, built by her brother Thomas Miller in 1837. The painting has descended in the family until this time.




A strong pair of folk art portraits, their robust character and painting style a "supportinging statement" to the way in which we typically describe the art form, despite the fact that these features are so often absent from the actual examples which we find. Here the scale of the figures within their rectangular formats, the attention paid to fine details of costume and setting, and their anatomical quirks and unrealistic spatial compression all come together to create works of power and appeal, both visually and emotionally.

They were probably painted in either New England or New York State. The man, whose arm rests on the crest rail of a paint-decorated chair, his hand facing forward and holding a newspaper ending its title with the letters "cate", probably for "...advocate", is posed in a style similar to that of Ammi Phillips or Milton Hopkins or Hopkin's student Noah North. Similar features in the female portrait, in which the figure holds a red book, as well as her earring design and the use of a red scarf or shawl over her white dress top, are also seen in the work of those same artists, one of whose work must have been familiar to this unidentified artist. The man's embroidered waistcoat acts to balance the embroidered white lace details of the woman's dress. Each has a blue-draped corner.
Circa 1838-1840. Oil on canvas, relined, and in wonderful period painted and possibly original frames. Minor surface restoration. 25 x 32 inches sight and 32 x 39 inches framed.



The foundations of a style: The 1812-1813 Border Period portraits of Ashbel Stoddard (1763-1840) and Patricia Bolles Stoddard (1762-1841) by Ammi Phillips

A few earlier portraits by Phillips exist, but they are rudimentary and experimental in style. These paintings represent the beginnings of the artist's emergence as a major folk portrait painter, perhaps the greatest American master of the genre.

In them we see what become signature features: the turning away from dark backgrounds with a light area behind the figure to ones more pearly gray with an associated lessening of tonal contrasts, increased attention to details of costume and facial features, and the establishment of a new longer pose that is a major compositional change.

Phillips becomes his "own man", no longer foused on imitating what he sees in others' work but pursuing variations of developments within his own, defining and refining who he is as an artist. 
Ashbel Stoddard, the first printer and publisher of a newspaper in Hudson, New York, holds a copy of Washington's Farewell Address, its text clearly readable. Patience's book is Young's Poetry.

The paintings were first exhibited in 1974 at Amherst College, MA, in an exhibit, "American Folk Art"; then in 1976 at Washburn Gallery, New York City, in an exhibit, "Ammi Phillips"and were illustrations one and two in its catalogue with its essay by Mary Black; they were later included in the 1995 Museum of American Folk Art exhibit "Revisiting Ammi Phillips: Fifty Years of American Portraiture", curated by Stacy Hollander and Howard Fertig, plates three and four on p. 26; and exhibited at the Columbia County Historical Society in Kinderhook, New York in 2005. There are the subject of an article in "The Hudson River Valley Review: A Journal of Regional Studies", Autumn 2012, entitled "Revealing Identities: Ammi Phillips' Portraits of Ashbel Stoddard and Patience Bolls Stoddard of Hudson, New York, 1812-1813"by Walter G. Ritchie, Jr., pp. 54-67.

Sight dimensions are 24 x 28 1/2 inches, and framed dimensions are 30 x 34 1/2 inches. In appropriate reproduction frames.



Oliver Tarbell Eddy (1799-1868)

Portrait of a Young Girl, thought to be from the Andruss family of Newark, New Jersey, circa 1838.

Eddy, born in Greenbush, Vermont and trained by his father as an engraver, was a self-taught painter. He worked in New York City as a miniaturist and portrait painter in the mid 1820's and exhibited there at the National Academy of Design in 1827, before moving to New Jersey in 1831.

Eddy's portraits follow many conventions of formal portraiture of the period but are distinctly naive in many respects. In this portrait, the child seems self-conscious and somewhat ill at ease posing for the artist. Her expression is key to the charm she projects, and the patterns of her dress, the carpet she stands on and the floral vines on the table covering all serve to focus us on the intimate details surrounding her quiet presence.

The painting is an oil on poplar panel, 40 1/2 x 30 inches and is in its ornate original gilded frame. Two other works accompany this piece, a virtually identical portrait on panel by Eddy that is only 14 x 10 inches and has a butterfly added to its composition, perhaps symbolizing that the second portrait was done as a memorial shortly after the first was completed, and a small self portrait of the artist in oil on tin.



An American Masterwork

This painting, as finely detailed as a miniature portrait or a Northern Renaissance interior, pictures a scene minutely observed. Yet it makes a broad statement, one that goes beyond the specifics of the place portrayed, encapsulating a moment and allowing it to represent the spirit of a particular time and way of life.

Frozen in space, men cut a sheaf of grain, a robin perches on a branch, a carriage stops before a gate, and the sun stops moving, the tree shadows so fixed in space it seems possible to tell time by their placement.

Eerily prefiguring the landscapes of Grant Wood by a century, this small landscape can be similarly read spatially: the viewer stands on a high point, the land drops off and spreads out, displaying a farmscape of house, barns and gardens, and hills rise out of the valley in parallel rows divided into crop-filled fields that rise above them.

The world created here is concrete, familiar, iconic. Its foundation is abstract, a grid of horizontal lines bisected by receding diagonals. It is a complex artistic vision, at once highly realistic and simultaneously as real as a dream.

Oil on canvas stamped on its reverse "Prepared by Edward Dechaux New York". Circa 1835-1840. 14 x 16 inches sight and 17 x 19 inches in period frame.


Portrait of a Man Attributed to William Matthew Prior (1806-1873)

This portrait, executed primarily in red, white and black, has a dramatic flare that defines the strongest of the artist's works. Here the sitter has a well defined face, his strong features well-modulated and handsome, its flesh tones set-off by a black jacket and tie, his white shirt front, and the red book he holds. No shadows merge his body to its neutral gray background, before which it floats in a shallow spatial plane. In contrast to this spatial treatment is the red drape to his right, which is heavily shadowed and highlighted, its contours defined and exaggerated.

Probably MA circa 1840. Sight size 22 x 27 1/2 inches and in a period gilded frame 28 3/4 x 34 1/4 inches.




The Delaware Water Gap
Attributed to Thomas Chambers

This representation of the Delaware Water Gap, while clearly influenced by more academic examples of the scene painted by Asher B. Durand and Thomas Doughty, exists in the realm of a more folk art style. Bold and dramatic in its coloration, exaggerated in its value contrasts, and employing rhythmic curves, reflections, and repetitions, it creates a picture that is "flat, bright, and brilliantly decorative, without the loss of the spirit of serenity and contemplation within the subject. A picture of space, rather than an illusionistic representation, such a painting calls to mind the strategies of Matisse."(quote from "Thomas Chambers, American Marine and Landscape Painter, 1808-1869", pg 92, from a description of this painting by Kathleen A. Foster, Curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art).

Oil on canvas, 22 1/2 x 30 1/2 inches sight and in appropriate period gilded frame 27 1/2 x 37 1/2 inches. Circa 1840-1850.

Illustrated in above and included in the traveling exhibition which opened at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008, went to The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York in 2009, The American Folk Art Museum, New York in 2010, and to Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington also in 2010. The work has also been exhibited at the New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown; the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester; the Albany Museum of History and Art, New York; Munson-Williams-Proctor Insitiute, Utica; Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, New York; New York Historical Society, New York City, 1958-59, "Rediscovered Painters in Upstate New York", no. 24, p.30 illus.; Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1971, "Twenty-five Folk Artists"; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1975, "Delaware Water Gap"; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, 1983, "19th Century Painters of the Delaware Valley".


The Buildings and Station of S.S.&C. Junction
J. McCambridge, Agent

T. Bonneau (drawer), Iberville PQ

T. Bonneau, an artist whose name has escaped note for his works painted in northwestern New York State and northern New England, is here identified in a Canadian painting. The works are distinctive: architectural simplifcation with internal linear details emphasized, boldness of drawing, interesting color palettes, flattened perspective lines to base of structures and stacked planes indicating recession in space.

Works by this artist from Upstate New York and northern New England are included in "Folk Painters of America" by Robert Bishop, cover and pg 115; "The Marcus Collection", Sotheby's , Ocober 1989, lots 30 and 31; and "Seasonal Selections", The Magazine Antiques", at Giampietro, New York. 

Circa 1900. Watercolor and ink on paper, 19 1/2 x 25 3/4 inches sight, floating on a mat in a simple modern painted frame, 22 1/4 x 28 1/2 inches.




A pair of pastel portraits of Harriet and Frederic Parker of Pepperell, Massachusetts, circa 1815.
A superb example of schoolgirl portraiture, these pictues show a boy standing behind a paint decorated Windsor side chair feeding his pet squirrel and a girl, presumably the artist, seated in a Sheraton armchair with her painted box, which is inscribed 'Geeves & Woodyear', on a table before her.
Pastel on paper mounted on their original canvas and stretchers, each with its original gold-leaf frame.
Illustrated full page in ''American Primative Painting'' by Jean Lipman; ''Portrait Painting in America'', by Ellen Miles, p.97; "The Magazine Antiques", January 1951, by Marion Carson, p.55.
Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Taradash, Claude and Alvin Bisnoff.


A charming portrait of a young woman pictured with a vase of flowers beside her on a table, seated in a paint decorated chair, and holdiing a beaded purse with floral decoration on it. 

Painted inscription on the back reads:

Painted By J. Parks
Nov 1837

For Catherine J (?) Rogers
Born Dec 3rd 1819

Parks' work in the 1830's is said to be from Mohark Valley, New York.

Reference: "The Folk Tradition: Early Arts and Crafts of the Susquehanna Valley," compilrd by Richard I. Barons, pp. 6-8.

Small repairs and minor scattered inpaint. Period frame.




A Folk Art Masterpiece by 
Ammi Phillips

A spectacular example of Phillips' work in his 'Kent Period', this portrait, inscribed with the sitter's name, age, and the date of its making on its reverse side, is a demonstration of the artist's ability to 
produce a work of consummate skill. This portrait of Lena Helen Ten Broeck, 1803-1839, of Germantown (Columbia County), New York and painted in 1834, an incisive character portrayal drawn with absolute assurance and control, is compositionally dramatic and powerful, and is a beautiful balance of pale skin tones and lace against a dramatic backdrop of a vibrant green-painted velvet dress with painted black leaf and vine decoration on her belt and cuffs, which are in strong 
contrast to the brilliant red of the small volume of 'Watts' which she holds. The whole is set against a black upholstered Federal sofa and a rich mahogany background.

This work is in a remarkable state of preservation in its original dark green painted frame with a raised yellow edge, is unlined and on its original stretcher, and bears the inscription shown.

Its provenance includes three great collections: those of Mary Allis, William Guthman, and Thomas and Nancy Tafuri.


An interesting historical portrayal of a meeting with Washington, painted and signed by Edmund Henry Garrett (1853-1929), a Boston artist, and inscribed by him as "From the original by N. C. Wyeth".  Probably painted c.1920 during the Colonial Revival period.



An unusual and highly stylized pair of pastel, charcoal, and watercolor portraits of "Mr. and Mrs. Broadhill of Chestnut Street" (Philadelphia). The pictures visually resemble smaller scale profile portraits and are primarily conceived as black and white images, like silhouetttes, although color is used sparingly in the faces and quite dramatically in the woman's striped dress.
Paper on original canvas mounts with the sitters' names and address inscribed on the back of one.
19 1/2" x 23 1/4" framed