Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Do They Come With Crackers?

If you have the patience and inclination to troll ebay, you'll occasionally come across some incredible folk finds.

Case in point: This fabulous set of antique wood-carved parrots, still displaying their original paint. I love how they bob back and forth on their perch.

And here's the best part: Pollys come with a miniature watercolor portrait of their original owner, circa 1850.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fraktured Fairytales

I've recently fallen in love with 19th-Century Pennsylvania Dutch fraktur art. Original drawn and painted works are few and far between, but you can still find good deals on printed birth certificates and marriage documents that were hand-colored by their owners.

I like the color palette in this baptismal record, currently for sale on ebay:

Also on ebay, this charming watercolor embodies the best qualities of frakturs: vibrant colors, floral emblems, and a delightful personal touch with the man and his plow:

Because it's so rare to find well-executed frakturs that have survived, the better ones are quite expensive. Lucky for us, a new generation of folk artists is carrying on the tradition at affordable prices.

For instance, Etsy seller The Lion and the Lamb offers this beautiful original compass flower fraktur:

Hurry and grab it now -- she's offering a deal on shipping!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Juggling Life

Antique juggling pins/indian clubs have become a popular folk art collectible as of late. It's easy to see why: Their tall forms are graceful and elegant, yet folksy as they come.

It boggles the mind to think that these pins were once THE latest in exercise equipment. I suspect that more than one user was knocked out cold when a dropped pin clunked on his head.

Pins can be displayed happily in duos or even trios, as this threesome from Louwer's Antiques proves:

This weathered pair is up for grabs (no pun intended) on ebay:

. . . and presenting the Rolls-Royce of Indian Clubs, this luxury set from The Country Squire:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

That's Some Silhouette

Having tried my hand at collage work myself, I have the utmost respect for anyone with the patience and talent for hand-cut silhouette work.

That would include Wendy Schultz Wubbels, who creates lovely and endearing silhouettes -- many of which can be viewed on her website, With Heart In Hand.

I love how Wendy's chair silhouettes bring out the sleek beauty in these traditional American forms. . .

. . . and her series of dog breed silhouettes make wonderful gifts for the dog lover in your life. My Mom received the Cocker silhouette for Christmas in honor of her own pooch.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Politics, Folk Style

Tired of politics as usual? These redware forms from Turtlecreek should revive your outlook. For McCain supporters:

And for Obama Mamas:

I'm an independent voter, so I wouldn't mind one of each.

Kudos to the potters of the Workshops of David T. Smith for creating fresh redware forms that nod to the past.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Arnold Print Works Menagerie

Arnold Print Works was a textile outfit that produced some delightful cloth animals around the turn of the 20th century. I love the primitive, folky look of this basket of kittens:

My daughter, the proud owner of a Russian Dwarf, adores this bunny, courtesy Carole's Country Antiques:

I'd like to perch this stern hoot-owl on my desk, to glower at me when I need to get to work:

Friday, August 15, 2008

'Til The Cows Come Home

Maybe it's because I live in Jersey, and pass by fields of dairy cows every day. Whatever the reason, I find myself a bit obsessed with cows lately: their hulking forms and docile faces are oddly comforting.

This fantastic original carving by Larry Koosed captures everything that I love about bovines:

For those of you who like your carvings old and weathered, this early 20thC Flossie from Back N Time Antiques is just the ticket.

And finally, from Anne Charles Antiques, a painted cheese box that could easily represent a Jersey meadow:

Just mooovelous! (Sorry. I couldn't resist).

I Have A Theorem For You

Oh, how I wish my budget could accommodate this delightful folksy theorem, dated 1865! But I have a feeling bidding on this one will only escalate -- and no small wonder.

The colors are vibrant, the image wonderfully lined and detailed . . . and who doesn't love a grumpy, folksy angel embellishment above the artist's signature?