Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nice work for a 10 year old

Dated 1925, this gouache or watercolor on paperboard or cardboard of a Native-American maiden was painted by a 10 year old, Doran Shuser, according to the pencil inscription on the back.  Is it a copy of a calendar image?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Graceful pour

Ridgid is a tool company that started in the 1920s in Ohio. It's now part of Emerson Electric. Back in the day Ridgid made a curvy oil spout. This one is peppered with dings.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Semi-abstract window photo

An old photo on card stock, 9 inches by 7 inches, showing backlit rain/ice on a window. I would guess 1920s vintage. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Strong profile

An old carving of someone in particular? I don't know. Nothing is written on the back.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pierced eyes

When it was new, this hand-cut metal yard sign undoubtedly said something like "keep off," meaning you doggie. But the paint is almost completely worn off, leaving just those pierced piercing eyes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Final score, 10-7

An elaborate tramp art frame holding an old photo of a youth baseball team. If you look closely at the background, the numbers on the wall describe how the game ended. Judging by the looks of some of the players, the L team chalked up a W.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Camp bunkhouse plaques

Thirty six and 46 years ago, these plaques were nailed to the sleeping quarters at summer camps in Damascus, Pa.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The girl in this large painted photograph seems to be wearing a brace on her leg and standing on her tiptoes, and her mother appears to be supporting the child's legs. The painted embellishments give both an odd look.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bob Wills

Friday marks 36 years since Bob Wills, the "King of Western Swing" and leader of the Texas Playboys, died of pneumonia at age 70. An interesting fact about Wills -- he sold a Dallas dance hall, the Bob Wills Ranch House, to Jack Ruby. This mid-century painting of Wills on paperboard is a bit of a mystery to me because TacKenridge County seems not to exist. I could not find it on a Google search. Was it renamed? Is it fictional? I'd like to know.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


An old mortar mixing blade with an owlish countenance.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Winged spirit

This is an Inuit whalebone carving for sale on eBay that cannot enter the U.S. because exportation of marine mammal art is illegal, according to the seller. That probably explains why this fine looking carving, priced at $39.99, has zero bids. The Eskimo artist is Jacob Kuluguqtuq, born in 1924. A winged spirit is a creature with a human face, wings and small extended tail.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homemade lap style electric guitar

A handmade boxy instrument from the Southeast that looks to date to World War II or earlier. The lap guitar has been instrumental -- sorry -- in the recording of vintage gospel, blues and rock music. Samples of the music can be heard here.