Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two small chairs

The New York Times write up about Nashville musician and art dealer Kevin Gordon reminded me of these two small chairs I acquired from Kevin in 2007. They were made by Willie Massey, one of my favorite Southern self-taught artists. Massey was a Kentucky farmer who in middle age began making art after the death of his wife. His celebration of rural life in the form of crude wood constructions and tinfoil birds is beautiful in its authenticity. Massey died in 1990 after suffering burns in a house fire. The chairs are 8.6 and 4.6 inches tall. A Massey bird shelf is available here (fourth row, last thumbnail).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Eat mush, be happy

I'm not sure what's on this plate, but Billy sure does like it. After eating, he's going to pedal as fast as he can right over to Timmy's and play wiffle ball!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fungus face

Carved fungus from Maine dated Jan. 25, 1913. The maker was adamant about the date, with 1913 on the front twice and Jan 25 carved again on the back. 8 inches tall.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not fast enough

A carte de visite in which the person assisting with the child apparently failed to get out of the way fast enough, and appears to be an apparition. CDVs were popular during the Civil War period. The kid seems like an old hand at posing for portraits.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Serpent plaque

A carving from Illinois or Iowa that celebrates nature while adding the traditional symbol of menace -- a snake. Looks like a sunflower top left, but is the half sphere of diagonal lines bottom right also supposed to be a flower? The Garden of Eden story might be the inspiration for the plaque. Almost 26 inches tall, it's unsigned.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lassie doesn't move

In Hendersonville, Tenn., at least one of the neighborhood dogs is cement.

Fine carved portrait

A woman wearing a liberty cap, 1850-1860. A liberty cap, according to Wikipedia, is a brimless felt cap emblematic of a slave's manumission or freedom in the ancient world. The carving is coming up for sale at Skinner. The estimate is $50,000-$75,000. Hope I get it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Busy at the gym

A colored pencil drawing from California that appears to date to the 1920s showing all sorts of gym activity. Men hang from rings, tumblers tumble, weightlifters admire their muscles, others do handstands and form human pyramids -- all under the gaze of onlookers in the balcony. The two light fixtures in the middle are saucer-like containers suspended from the ceiling and ablaze with fire. The drawing, 17 inches by 12 inches, reminds me of the work of outsider artist Eddie Arning.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Smiling girl by a Polish-American artist

An oil painting on canvas laid on board by an artist named Tymczyszyn. It might be from Cleveland, Ohio. So the big question is, how do you pronounce the artist's name? I found three options: tem-ches-shum, TIM-tcha-zen and tim-chit-sen.

Monday, February 6, 2012

An old face jug

A face vessel from the Southeast, perhaps from my home state, Georgia. I know it's older -- 1940s? Chocolate colored and just 7 inches tall.
ADDENDUM: From John Burrison, author of Brothers in Clay: "Indeed, a very nice example, nicely sculpted, glazed with Albany slip (post-1870s). I do suspect it’s from GA but don’t recognize the maker. Could be a bit older than 1940s, as early as 1920s (but excellent condition suggests later). Gillsville (Hall Co.) and Crawford Co. (near Macon) are most likely places of origin; neck and handle details are more like the latter (and Eddie Averett was making face jugs there in 1920s)."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Booth finally put together

After two days, I finally got my Tailgate-Music Valley Antiques Show booth together enough to photograph. My set up would best be described as plodding. While other dealers who do show after show checked out each other's merchandise, I sweated over track lighting instructions. I was one of the first ones to arrive at the venue and one of the last ones to leave; all part of learning on the job, I kept telling myself. I sold a few things during set up and traded for a terrific drawing. On Thursday the public arrives. The show, at the Hendersonville Expo Center outside Nashville, runs until Saturday.