Thursday, June 30, 2011

A dark and stormy sail

A small, anonymous English painting, just 9 inches wide, but strong. The paint separation gives the impression the ship is caught in an electrical storm. The previous owner said the painting reminded him of the work of Alfred Wallis, a Cornish fisherman whose life spanned the 19th and 20th centuries. Wallis painted sailing ships he remembered from his youth that were fast disappearing, but his work is much folkier than this painting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shadow Man

Shadow Man represents the drinker's alter ego, or so I imagine. With his arms folded, does he signal approval or disapproval of the swig? Or does Shadow Man observe without judgment, before walking into the light and disappearing?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oversized antique clay pipe

This well-used pipe is 10 inches long, about twice the height of the 12-ounce soda can. The bowl is 2 inches across and 3 inches deep. With this pipe fully packed, one could set a spell. The yellow color shines, more so than in the photos. Found in Colorado.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wheel of chance

Does fortune await? Spin the wheel and find out. The ghostly numbers recall a time when optimists at fairs, carnivals and fundraisers eagerly placed their bets, then waited anxiously to see at which number the spinning wheel would finally stop. It was a lot more communal than today's scratch-off ticket. This old gambling device, made of wood, is 2 feet in diameter and ringed with metal stops.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pants and door

She hesitates, thinking, "Pink provokes such strong reactions."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Iron lady

Unusual pose on this figural iron, apparently a finial. There is a hole in the back, so the lady was attached to something else at one time. The dark patina is beautiful.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Marlboro Man, sort of

The Marlboro Man was one of the most enduring figures in advertising, lasting more than 40 years. He portrayed the smoker as the rugged individualist. The Marlboro Man rode into the sunset in 1999 and smoking has declined, but on a recent trip to the West we noticed a lot of people still puffing away. Maybe, subconsciously, the Marlboro Man continues to have a strong influence. If this painting is based on the ad icon, it was done early in that marketing campaign, around 1954 when the Marlboro Man first saddled up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Straight razor box, 1912

J.I. Terrones provided haircuts and shaves at a home for the elderly in Pueblo, Colo. In gratitude, one of the seniors created this container with a handle using cigar boxes. Underneath it says, "From Made By B.J. Knox 1912 Pueblo Co." The front shows a horseshoe, scissors and a razor. There are slots for six razors and space for others tools of the trade. The sides also are decorated with carved wood.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chair at 10:48

While family members battled one crisis after another, Chair remained steadfast all those years.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


A large tinted photo under convex glass found in the small town of Dubois, Wyoming.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pottery baby

This child, just 4 inches high, hails from North Carolina and might be African-American. The slip clothing looks like a sheet or blanket. Inside is the artist's name, which appears to be Gasser.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Small iron snake, possibly colonial

Coiled iron snakes were placed atop hearths in colonial homes, supposedly to ward off evil spirits. The one with the raised head in the first two pictures is just 6 inches long, small enough to fit on a mantel. The third photo is from a 2009 post on 18th century items that I found on a blog about gun craftsmen called Contemporary Makers. The post says that snake is c. 1770 and was unearthed in the Williamsburg, Va., area. The majority of such snakes have been found in Virginia and North Carolina, according to that blogger.