Tinsel Picture Art from 1861

Antique Tinsel Picture, 1861 American Reverse Painting, Provenance Documents and Photographs by Joshua Boyd Hamilton
Dead  Mr. Joshua Hamilton 1889
Mr. Joshua Hamilton 1889
Tinsel Picture Complete set of history information
History of Artist  and Twin Brother

















This tinsel picture was made by a 9 year old boy named Joshua Boyd Hamilton (1851-1889) in 1861 in Indiana, at the start of the Civil War. It's documented in written family notes and accompanied by photographs. The picture, reverse painted on glass, is that of a stemmed compote holding fanciful flowers, set against a sky blue background, reminiscent of a theorem. The painting was then backed by foil, perhaps from candy wrappers he collected. There are areas of the glass that were left unpainted and the silvery shine of the foil twinkles through, charming in a home that was lighted by candles or gas fixtures. It's interesting to note that painting tinsel pictures is usually classified as a woman's hobby. 


The documentation by family members is tucked into two envelopes affixed to the wooden back on the picture. We have photographed each of them. One of the notes was written by Alice Gavins in 1951, stating that her uncle Joshua painted this and she has had it in her possession since 1891. The funeral photo is of Joshua; we found in our research that he became a pharmacist and died at 38 of a drug addiction. There is additional history of this family online. 


This picture is framed in 7/8 inch wide wood with a dark finish and a gold leaf liner that is aged and spotted. Overall measurements are approximately 9 inches wide by 11 inches tall by 1 inch thick. The wooden panel on the reverse is secured with hand cut nails, with screw eyes and hanging wire installed. The piece is in good condition, with chipping to the frame's finish and some small flaking of the paint on the glass. The glass has a tiny round chip at the upper right but no cracks and the frame corners are tight. 

Tinsel Picture Full Back View with old hand written history and photos
Back View of Tinsel Picture Frame with Hand Written History and Old Photos


Created just 45 years after Indiana became a state, this is a wonderful example of American folk art.

© Linda Henrich
Photos by Wayne Henrich

Peter Ompir Large Tole Painted Tray

Peter Ompir Large Tole Painted Tray

Peter Ompir (1904-1979), who painted this lovely, long tin tray, is considered one of America's foremost folk artists. He began his career during the 1930's painting portraits but was unable to make any money at it. He then began painting household items and sold them through an agent who persuaded Neiman-Marcus, Macy's and other prominent stores to carry his works, where they sold extremely well. He painted both used and new objects of wood, metal and even furniture, always managing to create a charming antique look with his use of colors and designs. This tray is an outstanding example of his work.

Measuring 21 1/2 inches long, 9 1/2 inches top to bottom and 1 1/2 inches high, the tray is painted on the front in a warm mustard color with red trim around the rim and the cutout handle on each end. It's decorated with a central group of fruit consisting of a large melon, clusters of green grapes, grape leaves and tendrils. Peter Ompir used many coats of antiquing to mellow the bright paint colors he mixed himself, very evident on this piece. Often his designs were playful but this still life is simply a work of art. It's understandable that in the 1970's, his pieces were selling for hundreds of dollars. They are a wonderful investment still, especially large pieces like this one in excellent vintage condition and signed on the back. There is wear to the paint on the upper front edges; on the green-painted reverse side there are small areas of missing paint with light rust to the edges and a couple of other spots. The signature is intact and authentic.

Peter Ompir Tole Painted Tray-signed on back-full back view-4394 x 2320jpg.JPG


This beautiful Peter Ompir folk art tray will be cherished for generations to come.

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Antique Earthenware Portrait Plates Italian Majolica

Antique Earthenware  Portrait Plates Italian Majolica

Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1800s
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This pair of Italian portrait plates are majolica, earthenware with a tin glaze. They were made in the late 1800's, probably in Urbino, in the Renaissance style of 1600's maiolica. The plates are red clay, with dished, fluted bodies and scalloped rims striped in two shades of yellow. The clay was covered with the white tin glaze and then decorated in polychrome enamels. The raised center medallions depict a helmeted soldier with his spear on one and a prelate of the church with his jeweled cap and cape on the other. They are surrounded by angels, birds and other small designs in the 'calligrafico' (minute/tiny) style which became popular in the seventeenth century. 

The reverse of the plates are tin glazed with no decorations save wavy lines of blue. Each is signed with a single painted blue mark; the soldier one with the mark resembling back to back letter C's and the prelate one with one resembling 3 fishhooks. Both have molded holes in the foot rims to use for hanging. There is no country of origin mark, as these were not meant to be exported. 

The dishes are 9 1/4 inches across and stand 1 3/4 inches high on a 4 inch diameter bottom rim. The one with the soldier medallion has a chip on the lower front revealing the red clay and an area upper left on the rim where the top glaze has rubbed off. On its back, there are two chips out of the foot rim, a short hairline and some nearby rough areas. The plate with the churchman has an area of flaked glaze on the foot rim and a few small ones on the outer rim. The fine craquelure is, of course, intentional.

4367 Ital. Majol Plates Man Plate Close Up of Mark


These plates are treasures to delight the collector and decorator alike and lend a European vibe to any room. 

© Linda Henrich

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PYH 4367

Antique Paris Tastevin, Cailar, Bayard & Cie, Sterling Rope Chain

Antique Paris Tastevin, Cailar, Bayard & Cie, Sterling Rope Chain


This tastevin or wine tasting cup was made by the famous Paris silversmiths Cailar, Bayard & Cie, which was founded by Noel Cailar and Pierre Bayard in 1848. In 1934 the firm went into liquidation and was absorbed by the premier French firm Christofle. Christofle liked this design for a tastevin very much and continued to produce it through the 1930’s. The marks, which are on the thumb rest, are very tiny but can be seen by zooming the photo. The mark on the left is CAILAR BAYARD and the mark on the right is METAL ARGENTE which is French for silver plate.



The word tastevin means “taste wine” in French. It is a shallow cup that was originally designed for wine makers to taste their vintages in their dark wine cellars. By using these cups made of shiny metals, the vintners could more easily judge the clarity and color of their wines. Occasionally a sommelier will wear a tastevin on a chain or ribbon as an emblem of his or her profession. The sommelier can use the cup to sample the wine before it is brought to your table to ensure that it has not turned.

 This tastevin or wine tasting cup was made by the famous Paris silversmiths Cailar, Bayard & Cie, which was founded by Noel Cailar and Pierre Bayard in 1848


This elegant cup is in absolutely gorgeous condition, with no wear to the silver at all. The cup measures almost three inches in diameter with a thumb rest a little over an inch long. The cup stands ¾ inch tall. It is accompanied by a 30 inch long sterling silver rope chain, weighing a total of 13.6 grams and marked “Italy” and “925” on the tab next to the jump ring that attaches the lobster clasp.
By: Linda Henrich
Photos By: Wayne Henrich


 Wearing Tastevin on Sterling Rope Chain

Girl with Goose by Jean Henry Theorem Painting

Girl with Goose by Jean Henry Theorem Painting

Theorems are paintings done on velvet with oil paints or watercolors that were a popular art form in the first half of the nineteenth century. They were named theorems as they used a formula (theorem) for the composition, primarily relying on stencils drawn and cut out by the artist and some freehand painting as well.

This twentieth-century theorem was painted by Virginia artist Jean Henry, who designed and painted all her works with oils on cotton velveteen. She created this theorem in 1980, the only year she signed her works with her initials JRH. Her husband Robert made all her frames; he made this ¾ inch wide one out of fir. Mr. and Mrs. Henry retired in 2014.

This would be lovely in a grouping of primitive art or with other objects on a shelf or in a cupboard.
By: Linda Henrich
Photo By: Wayne Henrich

White Spode Teapot Imperial Fancies Pattern Pineapple

 White Spode Teapot Imperial Fancies Pattern Pineapple

This beautiful teapot is in the pattern called Imperial Fancies. This is the pineapple teapot,named for the embossed exterior resembling the skin of a pineapple. The green Spode mark dates to the early 1960’s. The color is a classic creamy white.Spode is famous for the high quality of their china and has been in business in Stoke-on-Trent, England, for almost 250 years.The teapot measures 5 ½ inches tall without the lid, 7 ½ inches tall with the lid in place and 3 ½ inches across the base. Measuring from the tip of the spout to the furthest edge of the handle, it is 10 ½ inches wide. The teapot holds 5 cups.

 White Spode Teapot Imperial Fancies Pattern Pineapple bottom mark

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Pin-up Girl on Horner’s Vintage Candies Tin

Pin-up Girl on Horner’s Vintage Candies Tin

Pin-up Girl on Horner’s Vintage Candies Tin Back viewThis redheaded bathing beauty is wearing a two piece swimsuit, wedge sandals and is wondering where her date is. The tin was probably made in the 1940’s or early 50’s and created by George W. Horner & Co., Inc., Chester-le-Street, County of Durham, England. The contents of the rectangular tin were Horner’s Blue Boy Candy Treasures, pictured on the original paper label on the bottom of the tin; they appear to be wrapped hard candies. The box held a half-pound of the candies, or as they put it, 8 OZS NETT WEIGHT. The same typo is printed on the side that gives the ingredients. Both of the ends have Horner’s trademark. The company started in 1910 and closed their doors in 1960.

The tin measures 8 inches long, 5 inches wide and about 1 3/8 inches high including the lid. 

Great gift for the advertising tin collector or the pin-up collector!


Pin-up Girl on Horner’s Vintage Candies Tin Side View

Pin-up Girl on Horner’s Vintage Candies Tin Side two


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