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This Just In: Antique oil on canvas paintings and prints

by Christopher Lancette
Published: Last Updated on

001We’ve just added five great pieces of art to our new-look Orion’s Attic eBay store. Peruse a range of pieces from a harvest scene to a American Revolution navy battle. Highlights include:

Harvest scene of woman calling out — oil on canvas, signed, late 1800s to early 1900s: We love this piece and have been lucky to find a number of excellent paintings lately. This one leaves us with more questions than answers, makes us want to transport ourselves into the scene to figure out with certainty what’s happening. There is so much drama in this petite work that measures 11.5 inches wide by 9.5 inches tall to the outside of the frame. At the most basic level, this painting features a harvest scene of a woman standing next to a wheat stack. She is cupping her hands and calling out — but to whom and for what? Is she calling out for help? Is something wrong? Is she calling family or other workers and field hands to let them know it’s time for a lunch break? A disorderly picnic sits on the ground behind her. A drink is spilled on its side. And what or who exactly is the blue clump at the right side of the wheat stack? Is that simply a coat or a garment strewn on to the ground? Is it a soldier’s jacket? Is it a person or a soldier who has fallen over?

The piece is signed but we have tried our best to make out the artist’s name and learn more about him or her to no avail. Our research indicates the piece is likely from the late 1800s to early 1900s. The style suggests that it’s European, possibly French. The label on the back says the piece was framed by Ferdinand Rotten of Baltimore, Maryland. Our research indicates the company was born in the 1930s as a framing company and later evolved into selling art. It very likely could have framed a late 19th century or early 20th century piece.

Winter scene in woods by lake – oil on canvas, unsigned: We were drawn to this antique oil on canvas painting the moment we spotted it. The winter landscape places you as the viewer at a turn around the bend, in the snow, with large old trees to your left and the hint of a lake up ahead. There are some kind of prints in front of you — made by a human traveler or perhaps an animal. A pinkish haze rests in the horizon above the distant trees ahead. The painting fills you with a sense of calm. It’s a shame that the piece is unsigned as it was clearly done by a skilled hand, likely sometime between 1890-1920. The style of the piece suggests it’s American. The gilt frame is nice, too, even with its flaws. The painting belonged to the mother of the man in Alexandria, Virginia that we obtained it from and he doesn’t know where she got it but said it had been in the family a long time.

027Battle between the Bon Homme Richard and the Serapis print — early 1900s:
Continental Navy Commodore John Paul Jones and his crew are fighting what appears to be a losing battle in September of 1779 against the HMS Serapis, whose captain — Robert Pearson —  orders them to surrender.

Jones will have none of it.

“I have not begun to fight!” he declares, launching a bold counter attack in which he and his men ram the Serapis, hook their ship to it, board it and assault the ship with musket fire and hand grenades. Jones ultimately captures the Serapis – embarrassing the British navy and adding to Jones’ legendary status as one of the great early leaders of the U.S. Navy.

American painter Thomas Birch was only born the year the famous battle took place but he would become America’s first great ship portraitist. Though some of his most famous works depict naval battles during The War of 1812, his original painting of the Bon Homme Richard battle must have been a beauty. The piece made such an impression that Philadelphia’s Frank G. Stewart of 226 S. Eleventh Street included it in a series of prints published in the early 1900s. Our black and white print is an original of that series and our research indicates this was copyrighted in 1907. The piece measures 19 wide by 13 inches tall.

Entitled “The battle between the ‘Bon Homme Richard’ Com. John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy and ‘The Serapis’ Capt. Robert Pearson of the British Navy September 22nd 1779,” it’s an attractive piece that becomes even more engaging when viewed beneath a magnifying glass. The Union Jack on the Serapis displays nicely as do the cannon blasts coming from both ships – the smoke appearing in brilliant white plumes thanks to the full moon above.069

Juillet – original half-tone print by Albert Aublet, 1893: Who doesn’t love naked Victorian women? Put three of three of them next to a lake in an antique print and you get to call it art – as is the case with this original half-tone print by Albert Aublet, a French artist known for his turn-of-the-century nudes. Depending on how you look at it, this piece is either a conversation starter or an, um engine starter. The title of the print appears in the top center: Juillet. The image is sort of brown and cream in tones and is at the center of what feels like a heavy piece of paper/light sheet of cardboard. The artist’s last name appears above the image. The printed English word “July” appears below it. In tiny print in the right corner of the document are the words “Salon de 1893”.
012Jewish rabbi, oil on canvas painting, signed, modern: This striking oil on canvas painting of a Jewish rabbi stands 17.5 inches tall by 15.5 inches wide to the outside edges of the frame. The inner image is 9.5 inches tall by 7.5 inches tall. We bought the piece from an elderly Jewish woman but she did not remember exactly when or where she first obtained it. It appears to be signed by a J Tuller or J Fuller. The signature appears to be from a pen rather than a brush. The painting itself looks like an oil on canvas to me but could possibly also be pen and ink. The wood of the frame notes in Spanish on the book that the frame was made in Mexico but the seller did buy the piece in the U.S., possibly here in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area.022

Antique Japanese woodblock triptych print by Utagawa Yoshimori: We have a very interesting Japanese triptych by artist (Utagawa) Yoshimori that measures 36.5 inches wide and 20.75 inches tall to the outside edges of the frame. According to our research, his real name was Yoshmori Taguchi. He was a student of Utagawa Kuniyoshi, a major Japanese woodblock artist. The chop marks and signatures look right. We did find a few copies of it under different titles, like Shogun Visits Kyoto and The Procession of Lord Yoritomo, Minister of the Right, on the Way to Kyoto. It just depends on who did the translating of the marks. It’s one of a number of triptychs Yoshimori did. The original was produced around1862-1863. Could this be that old? It’s possible. The marks on ours match the same one as the copy at a Boston museum. It may be more likely this print is from the late 1800s or very early 1900s at the latest. As you look around the Web, you may find a copy of this print on a British site that’s asking the equivalent of about $2,400. We’re asking $1,395 for this one.

Find tons of other treasures on our eBay store, too. Do you have great stuff to sell? Need an estate sale, estate liquidation or simply need to downsize and de-clutter? Orion’s Attic is here to help. Learn more about us and contact us at OrionsAttic.com today!




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