Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Seller's Description: Very rare, original CDV Photograph of a Display item from E. M. Worth's "American Museum" of Boston - an early Dime Museum similar to Barnum's "American Museum" in New York. The Photo pictures a man's hand displaying a large, leather Portfolio atop an oval table. Ink stamped text on the reverse reads "E. M. Worth's American Museum" / "The Portfolio on which John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence. 1776.". This outstanding, period photograph measures approx. 2 3/8” x 3 7/8” and is mounted on its original, square corner CDV Card Mount (dimensions are of the card mount). There is printed advertising text at the lower margin on reverse that reads "T Meeham, Manufacturer of Looking-Glasses, Pictures & Frames 810 Washington St. Boston, Mass.". We have been unable to find much information about E. M. Worth's "American Museum" but we did discover that in 1888 he was called a "long established showman" whose exhibitions had rivaled those of his contemporary P.T. Barnum. We were also able to find references to a few other 1860's CDV Photographs that exactly matched the format of the Photograph offered here (same card mount, same type ink stamp, same printed advert and featuring a disembodied hand holding a relic atop an oval table). These other CDV's pictured "One of Boots worn by Wilkes Booth at the Assassination of President Lincoln" another titled "Gen. Washington's Camp Lantern, Knife and Fork used during the Revolutionary War" and a third titled "President Abraham Lincoln's Straight Razor". The Photograph offered here (as well as the others that we discovered online) would have been used to advertise Worth's "American Museum" and might possibly also be available at the Museum as souvenirs. The photo is undated but printed on a square cornered mount typical of those used in the mid to late 1860's. Both the image and card mount are in very good condition - clean and crisp although the image is a bit faded. There are 2 thin black lines that are seen above the portfolio that on first inspection appeared to be ink marks but closer inspection reveals that they are either in the negative or else marks on the backdrop.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Incredible Iroquois Wooden Mask from the early to mid-20th Century.
Here's some info. from the Internet: The masks are considered to be living and breathing. They are fed with cornmeal 'Mush' and they accept gifts of tobacco as payment for rituals. The design of the masks is somewhat variable, but most share certain features. The masks have long, black, reddish brown, brown, gray or white horse hair. Before the introduction of horses by the Europeans, corn husks and buffalo hair were used. The eyes are deep-set and accented by metal. The noses are bent and crooked. The other facial features are variable. The masks are painted red and black. Most often carry pouches of tobacco on their foreheads and / or nostrils. Basswood is usually used for the masks although other types of wood are sometimes used.
When making a mask, an Iroquois man walks through the woods until he is moved by a spirit to carve a mask from the tree. The spirit inspires the unique elements of the mask's design and the resulting product represents the spirit itself. The masks are carved directly on the tree and only removed when completed. Masks are painted red if they were begun in the morning or black if they were begun in the afternoon. Red masks are thought to be more powerful. Masks with both colors represent spirits with "divided bodies."
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Great and weird carving of a seal's body with a man's head in a typical whimsey "ball in box". The carving also has some symbols on all 4 sides of the base. This recently sold for $ 430.00 on eBay.
Here's the seller's description: 1920's Wood Carved Whimsey. Carved out of one piece of wood. Very Unusual! A seal's body with a head in a box sits on top of a pedestal. The head in the box can turn 360 degrees so he can look out each opening. The pedestal has an eye behind a curtain carved on one side, a four leaf clover and and Indian symbol that I believe stands for friendship. I'm sure all of these symbols mean something! Found in New York State. It is signed twice on the bottom, R H R. Once in red paint and it is also carved in. I think the wood is spruce. It measures 10 3/4" tall and the base is 3 1/2" square.