Monday, November 28, 2011


There's a lot of landmines out there and one of them seems to be these seemingly period watercolors that have been springing up on eBay and other auction houses for the last few years. Their subject matter is generally of fairly significant events or historical figures (Civil War, negro soldiers, etc...) of the 19th century and are typically framed in period frames and backed with pages from 19th century books. Once you've seen a few of them, stylistically they stand out like a sore thumb. The unfortunate part is that quite a few collectors have dropped hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on them. Some can be quite convincing. I even did a post of one a while back! But if you see one, just buy it for it's decorative value because there's little else besides it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

19th Century Ventriloquist Head

A well-traveled head. Sold for $3,055 (including premium) at Garth's.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011


Vintage photo of a woman taking a picture in a mirror on a circus wagon. This is cool on so many levels...Available here.

Jack in the....YIKES!

Primitive 19th century Jack in the box.

Available at Heritage Auctions.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Athletic Show

I look at a lot of stuff (as I'm sure you realize), but my jaw dropped when I saw these! Simply amazing and for sale at Urban Country.

Seller's description:
c. 1920's
Fantastic pair of hand carved boxer and training athlete sculptures with original, layered park paint surfaces. These figures once hung outside of a carnival "Athletic Show," which popularly featured boxers and wrestlers fighting it out in the ring.

Available at Urban Country.

Carved Women

Sold for $162.49 on eBay.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Almost 5 years ago, I acquired a nice folk art carved figure of a black man that had a distinctive construction that made me think that it may have been part of a 19th century trade sign. This past week, I was lucky enough to discover that he had a companion! This figure is of a white man and the remnants of his outfit (with apron) suggest a worker of some type, possibly a butcher, blacksmith, carpenter...What's interesting is being able to see some of the elements that were missing from the black figure, including the original hands and two large metal eye hooks that affixed the figures to something. Who knows if there's more figures left to be discovered?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

19th Century Folk Art Carved Cane

19th century folk art carved cane made out of black walnut, with lizard, snake and a man's head. Found in the South.

Friday, November 11, 2011