I do not operate an open shop but prefer instead to treat my interest in Americana in a more relaxed manner. Indeed, my primary preoccupation is teaching at the California Institute of Technology, which affords me the luxury of pursuing a tertiary interest in American history. This feeds my interest in Americana and gives me the flexibility to pursue offering a selection of American country and formal antiques that represent the best of what we might otherwise associate with Back East tastes and design. In fact, after 40+ years of collecting Americana, with the last two and a half decades spent scouring the estate sales and flea markets of Southern California, the time has come to begin letting go. What you’ll find here, then, are things from my personal collection with the occasional addition of some treasure I found in my ongoing compulsive hunting. Needless to say, there’s a full “L.L.Bean-type” no questions asked guarantee on anything I sell. I do make mistakes, but I try not to pass them on to anyone. Tel #s: 818-952-8106; 818-618-7984 (cell). Email address is email@example.com. Want to add that I've just finished a book on experiences, lessons learned, etc, so check out my website at www.ordeshookantiques.com. I warn though that the text is constantly under revision as new lessons and experiences arise.
She measures only 4 3/8" x 3 3/4" x 1 3/4" but she is a beauty ... a heart shaped locking trinket box that bears her original blue paint and decoration on the lid. The key isn't original to the piece but it does work ... locking and unlocking this charming 19th century gift to, presumably, some young lady.
a ca 1900 Tramp Art two drawer mirrored wall / letter box that bears its original baby blue painted surface with white painted accent. Most likely originally given as a friendship or love token, she stands 27 1/4" high x 12 1/2" wide x 7" deep. In absolutely perfect condition with no touchups or repairs
a fantastic dated 1826 lidded staved bucket that bears its original barn red paint. And aside from some age cracks to the lid wholly consonant with age and use, she's in superb condition. Measuring appx 13" high x 11" diam. at the top x 11 3/4" diam at the base, she also bears the initials JAns (?)
The paint on this pantry box is just about the best I've ever seen and guaranteed to be 100% original. Measuring appx 8 1/2" in diameter x 3" high, I think my pictures tell the whole story as there are no issues whatsoever to report with this magnificent piece.
here is this dated 1827 American silk on linen family record sampler from Leicester Massachusetts (a suburb of Worcester) of the William and Almira (Earle) Newhall family. Measuring 19" x 18 1/2" framed (16 3/4" x 16 1/2") she's in excellent condition with the exception of the letter B at the top of the alphabet portion of this piece. She has not been evaluated out of the frame and while obviously in a later frame, the glass is itself 19th century. As for the creator of the sampler, best guess is Eliza, born in 1820 (so she'd have been 7 years old when executing this piece).
For Tramp Art collectors, here's a rarity ... a small (8" x 4 1/2" x 3 1/4") lidded crown of thorns trinket or sewing box. The lid's 'hinges" are simply some wire, the surface (brown paint) is original, and the box is in excellent condition with no missing "thorns". There are some scattered repairs, but I dare you to find them (took me awhile, and I actually made a couple of them myself). This is an absolutely superb and rare piece, especially given its warm patina surface.
ca 1800 miniature silk on silk miniature of two small children with watercolor painted faces. Framed this piece measures 9 7/8" x 9" whereas the needlework itself measures but 4 1/8" x 3 3/16". In superb condition, my pictures tell the rest of the story.
Frankly, I'm not sure how to describe this piece. It's made like a miniature or doll quilt (she measures but 14" x 11") but with its trapunto construction, was clearly never intended to be used as a doll quilt, but instead to be framed as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln. There are five printed and a tad faded rectangles depicting from left to right, starting at the top, US Grant, Mary Todd Lincoln, Lincoln himself, Lincoln with his son, and somewhat interestingly, John Wilkes Booth. The backside identifies the images with gold thread hand stitching surrounding each. This is an uncommon ... one might even say rare .. piece of American presidential folk art, and as to age, frankly I have no idea though there is age here. There are though no apologies ... my guess is that it was originally framed and thus protected
here are two beautifully framed & matted ca 1830 hand colored duck prints, identified on the back as by H. Morris, England. Framed, they measure 15" x 11 1/2", with sight dimensions to the ducks themselves of 7 3/4" x 4 1/2". While not examined out of the frame, both as in superb condition, with bright bold color, no staining, etc.
19th century tin tole decorate apple or fruit tray measuring 11 3/8" x 6 5/8" x 3 1/8 and bearing its original paint decorated surface with a strawberry motif and yellow pin strip along the edge. With a natural subtle crackalure surface, she of course has a few scratches and wear commensurate with its age ... but overall in good condition.
here is an early 19th century leather fire bucket that bears its original surface and owner's initials. My guess is that this was a bucket intended for actual use as opposed a mere decorative accessory to a fire house. Not sure as to origin, but form is more American that English. Be that as it may, it's in excellent condition with no deterioration to the leather. As for dimensions, it stands 10 1/2" high, appx 9 1/2" diameter at the top x 6 1/2" diam. at the base.
a mid 19th century six-canister spice box wherein the box itself bears its original cream painted surface (with wear) and 6 square japanned canisters with their original stenciled spice labels. Measuring 10 1/8" x 7 1/8" x 3 1/2" high, the box retains its original carrying handle and hasp, while each canister measures 3" square x 2 1/8" high not counting the tin tab handles to the hinged lids. Overall condition to the interior of the box is very good and even retains its original spice grater.
a spectacular ca 1900 red and white Pinwheel cotton quilt measuring 78" x 76", with border, that has never been washed. All wonderfully hand quilted at 9 to 10 SPI, she does have some storage discoloration to the backside but since its obvious she's never been washed (pencil marks guiding the quilting are still evident), I felt it best to leave things as is.
here is a 19th century child's size (or miniature) platform rocker in superb condition ... nicely carpeted, with springs at the base that work perfectly. She measures 25 1/2" high x 15 1/4" wide x 15 3/4" deep at the base ... all with a 8 1/2" high seat.
Not sure, of course, whether this is schoolboy or schoolgirl folk art, but it is unique. A 19th C watercolor that's animated by the pulling of strings. Pull one string in back and the two men will move together or back to their respective houses. Pull another string and the shade to the upper right window rises or falls. And pull a third string and the chimney sweep rises from or drops into the chimney. All obviously hand crafted, drawn and colored. Framed in a ca 1840 mahogany veneered frame it measures 13 1/2" x 12 1/2" with sight dimensions beneath the new matting of 6 1/2" x 5".
here we have a 19th century bellows that retains its original and early paint, with pinstripe accent. With a fantastic and wholly original patina, the only question is whether the fabric joining the two halves is original since it's not leather. But if a replacement, then judging by the natural patina to the brass studs, a replacement that itself most likely dates to the late 19th or early 20th century. Dimensions are 22" long x 9 1/2" wide (and the bellows works).
Offered here is this late 18th or early 19th century two-candle "table model" adjustable tin table model candle stand. Overall height is 29 1/2", diameter of the weighted cone base is 6 1/2" and spread on the arms of the candle holder is appx 10". Both candle sockets are pushups. The candle holder arms are actually made in 3 pieces ... two arms and a center leather ring that connects to the two arms. It was that leather ring that originally provided the friction that held the arms in place together at whatever height was chosen. Over time, though, that ability, due to wear, was lost, so I inserted an additional felt washer that is invisible but provides the necessary friction so that the candle holder operates as intended. There appears to be some spot soldering repairs, but nothing obtrusive and the candle holder is otherwise wholly original.
here is a early 19th century blanket chest with fabulous early floral paint decoration. My best guess is that it's Scandinavian judging by the pine, but perfect as a coffee table since she's not overly large (40" x 22 1/2" x 19 1/4" high) and painted on all 4 sides. I suspect the floral decoration is a tad later than the chest itself but still early 19th century. There a small patched repair to the lid molding and a small patch to the base molding, all relatively inconsequential. Beyond that there's simply the usual age crack to the lid. One end has a bit of painted in writing on it ... possibly an address when being shipped by whoever emigrated to the US at the time.
here we have a vintage (I'd guess 1930s or 40s) Coast Guard "trade" sign made of a single board (not plywood) measuring 48" x 9" and 100% original with its original painted surface
here is this absolutely impressive and monumental (32 1/2" long x 10 1/4" wide x 12" high) hand made locomotive made entirely of wood and tin and retaining its original paint throughout. The detail is incredible and I have no doubt conforms to the real thing. Its "signed" on the front with the date 1991 which is when I assume it was made. I have no idea, though, what the Kumquat Lumber Co. is. Insofar as I can tell, there are no apologies whatsoever ... this incredible piece of folk art is 100% right.
Although identical in height (87 1/2") and style, and although both take an approximate 30" corner (actually one takes a 28" corner and the other a 29" corner, counting the crown molding), they aren't a perfect match ... but they are darned close. Unfortunately, stored here in my laundry room, I can't set them up to be photographed side by side. But I think you get the idea here. The sole apology (they retain their original glass panes) that applies to both cupboards is that at one time someone removed the interior shelves of the upper sections and replaced them with professionally cut glass shelving (an easy restoration if you have some old wood, but not truly necessary). In any event, they are being offered here as a pair, so for the pair .....
Herbert Mills (b. 1878, d. 1948) is buried in the military cemetery in San Antonio Texas and served as a 1st Lt in WWI. These five folk art carvings are all, with the exception of the WWI doughboy, signed "Herbert Mills San Antonio Texas ca 1928". One can presume that the doughboy (9 1/4" h) is Mills himself whereas the largest carving (10 7/8") is Punch from Punch & Judy. The man (10" h) reminds me of those cartoon-like drawings hanging on the walls of various restaurants corresponding to the celebrities who frequented that establishment from time to time. In any event, offered as a set ...
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