Showing posts with label unusual. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unusual. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The rising wave neer the land

"The rising wave neer the land, the water cover the beach sand" was painted by Anthony De Bernardin, an Italian immigrant who lived in Unity, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, where he operated a variety store. The store did poorly because De Bernardin was unfriendly, thinking people were trying to steal from him. When De Bernardin died in 1972 he left his miniscule life savings to a female  grocery store clerk (M.F.), who was unaware the older man was obsessed with her. She is depicted in many of his paintings with a child's face and a woman's body. Another odd feature of De Bernardin's art is puzzling phrases such as "Up the deep blue river is no work for the beaver." Seven years after De Bernardin's demise, the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art showed 17 of his paintings, but he remains a relatively unknown artist. Describing De Bernardin's last hours, an old Pittsburgh Press article said police broke into his home after neighbors expressed concern and found him lying next to a mural he had painted showing his mountainous birthplace in Italy, populated with flowers and women.

Monday, May 20, 2013

News boy

Cabinet card from Brookings, South Dakota showing a young man wearing a costume of shredded newspaper. His cap says News Boy. Brookings, the state's fourth largest city, is home to South Dakota State University.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ring in nose

Some jewelry can be so painful. The fez-wearing, grimacing man is wrapped in some kind of garment. What this photo means I have no idea. Perhaps he's just a jokester.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Painting behind a checkerboard

The hourglass image apparently is a Deco era painting rather than another game on the reverse of the checkerboard. Beautifully simple geometric design with rich black and red color.

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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marilyn n Jonas

Unique pottery showing a loving couple, perhaps made for the couple. Underneath it's marked Marilyn n Jonas.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Jack flees inside to escape the swarm (or is it swirling snow) as a concerned Betty looks on.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The eye of Radio Guy

The toy car mold is made from a 10-pound block of laminated wood and is 17 inches long. Might be a Ford. The display shows children's spats. And the door speaks for itself. From the shop of Radio Guy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shriners parade

A UPI press photo from 1954 showing people watching a Shriners parade where the marchers are wearing lights. Because of the camera's time exposure, the marchers themselves are invisible and the viewers look like they just rose from the dead. This strangely beautiful photo sold for more than $200 on eBay (soxphotos).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Living large

A woman's trip to Florida(?) is captured in this most unusual memento, a manipulated photograph, c. 1960s. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Funky dart board

Homemade dart board, made from an old lid, has a pull knob on the top and nail decoration. The nails are mystifying. Perhaps they were added to make the game more challenging; darts would bounce off. The soft edges of the paint decoration give the board a sort of glow. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Brother, sister act

Painted photographs showing what I would assume to be a sister, left, and her brother, both in costume. The mat openings have sawtooth decoration. Kind of whacky.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The beautiful world of soap bubbles

Next time you're soaking in a bubble bath, think about all the wondrous worlds in which you're immersed. Proof comes from the Hamill Gallery in Boston. One of the gallery owners and a friend invented and patented in the 1980s a way to photograph the interiors of bubbles. They took thousands of photos over several years before digital photography. The photos were first exhibited in Boston in 1982. Look and be amazed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Positive about a negative

Large glass plate negative c. 1900 showing military cadets? I'm tempted to make a print from this negative, but I suspect the positive will look a lot less interesting than the negative. Glass plate negatives bridged the 19th and 20th centuries, before the invention of film. I think they're really interesting both visually and historically just the way they are. And they're cheap and easy to find.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Curious mask

A small aluminum or tin mask, child-size really, with a riveted nose. The ears have holes for an elastic band.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Altered photo

This tintype sold on eBay last month. The seller was upperlevelantiques, good folks. I also like this one by the same seller. Is that mop top real?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Automaton figure

This large jointed figure came off some kind of moving attraction. The body is a wood box. The appendages are metal. It's from the Midwest.