Folk Art Watercolor, ca. 1855
I got this from my grandmother. She lived in Wisconsin for several years, and I was a young boy then, and I always admired the piece.
This is a watercolor on paper, and this is what folk art is all about. The flowers are the same size as the people, the birds are huge, the butterfly is huge. This is a very talented but naive artist. And some of the things that I personally love about it, the butterfly is huge, but he's also painted over him with egg white to give him a nice gloss, and all the yellow is done that way. And the other thing I really, really love is this poor guy who hooked himself-- his pants are hitched up, and see how the pole is bent?
Bent back, yeah.
And then this guy actually hooked a spotted fish. And their clothing is wonderful. It's a little faded, and it has one other major condition problem. It's mounted on, I would say, the top of a cardboard box and the box has got 20th-century writing on it, so it doesn't relate to this at all. These are found all over New England, and this one is dated 1850-something-or-other, which is the appropriate date for the clothing and when these were very popular. But I think you have information from your grandmother that it's probably done...
In Kentucky. We always thought, because she was born and raised there, that that's kind of where it came from. I'm not sure, and we thought that it was one of her male relatives that did this, but with all this light detail, I now kind of wonder whether it might have been somebody else-- one of the females in the family.
It could be male or female. It's an unknown artist. The way it is, at retail, in the condition it is, I think that it would be between $3,000 and $5,000.
If you could prove that it was Tennessee or Kentucky by doing some research, the pieces are so rare and so undocumented that it would raise the price. It would be $10,000 or more.
Wow! Oh, I'd be very happy.
But I would contact your state historical society down there.
Thank you. We're just thrilled about it-- more so now.
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