Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let him have it, Momma

This vintage snapshot is attached to paper that says, "This should happen more often."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Primitive bedpost doll

A 19th century play thing carved from an old bedpost. The stylized arms are elongated triangles.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The discovery in 1922 of King Tut's tomb sparked great interest in ancient Egypt and inspired lots of artwork, like this folk art portrait of the young pharaoh, who ruled from 1332 BC to 1323 BC. He was only 18 or so when he died.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sensitively rendered faces

Southern made carving of a mother and her children inscribed Kramer 61 underneath. It's only 4.6 inches tall.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Look of surprise

Unusual tintype portrait of an African-American child. I think this would be considered a tall sixth-plate tintype, nearly 4 inches high.

Evocative slush

Dropping temperatures in Atlanta might produce a rain/snow mix north of the city, creating the possibility of evocative slush.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Drawings by an imprisoned Civil War private

Sotheby's is selling 19 drawings made in 1864-65 by John Jacob Ommenhausser, a Confederate private from Virginia imprisoned in Maryland. The drawings provide a fascinating glimpse into Civil War prison life. Many of the guards pictured are African-American; poetic justice, I'd say. In all, Ommenhausser filled four sketchbooks. The drawings being auctioned on Jan. 26 are the only ones still in private hands. Please click on the detail shots to read the captions. In the top drawing, prisoners accede to the demands of the guards. "Double quick sahi or I'll blow a hole through you," one guard says. "Now git-down on your knees and pray for Abraham Lincoln." The prisoner replies, "Oh Lord, bless Abraham Lincoln." The Point Lookout Prison Camp was located where the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay meet. The second drawing shows prisoners trying to procure crabs. "Say! I'll give you a big chew tobacco for this crab." In the third drawing, a guard tells two prisoners to fall in line or risk getting shot. "Oh me! I'm nearly frozen to death," one prisoner complains, while the other says, "And I'm nearly broke down, I can hardly draw my breath." The last drawing shows a guard asking about noise in the sleeping quarters. "No ones making noise, it's only a man talking in his sleep," a prisoner answers. The estimate on lot 466 is $60,000-$80,000.

Arty smoking car photo

Saratogastash sold this press photo, marked up for publication.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Snow everywhere, except on his face

Blizzard Boy poses in this manipulated cabinet card photo with added snowflakes.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A home run

Baseball dart board sold for more than $2,700 at Garth's Auction on Saturday.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lady Liberty architectural fragment

Circa 1890 cast iron head that once adorned a building. Weighs nearly 40 pounds. I'll be hauling Lady Liberty to New York for the Antiques at the Armory Show, Jan. 25-27.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Robert Lindsey Walker

Robert Lindsey Walker, who lived his entire life in Savannah, Ga., worked as a stone setter and took odd jobs after retirement in the 1960s, including maintaining yards and driving a cab. Throughout his life he collected discarded materials. After Walker's death in 1996 numerous drawings on the material he collected were discovered. This is a simple, small ink portrait, but Walker also made meticulous, colorful drawings showing buildings, landscapes and the neighborhoods where the widow ladies he transported in his cab lived. Barbara Archer Gallery in Atlanta sells Walker's work.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Stone head

Twenty-two inches tall, sold for $1,900 (before auctioneer's fee) at Copake Auction on New Year's Day.