1936 Silhouettes by John Van Bibber

Portrait 1936 Silhouettes by John Van Bibber Hand Cut Signed and Dated

  • Vintage item
  • $95.00
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This charming pair of expertly scissor cut, detailed silhouettes was done by John Van Bibber (more about him below) in 1936. They depict a girl and boy, presumably brother and sister, cut out from light tan paper (lighter in color--much less orange--than our photographs), then placed against a background of black paper, a technique called hollow cut. The tan paper cutout piece was occasionally kept and framed, also.

The children each have contrasting collars and tiny eyelashes, with the girl having a ribbon at her neck, tied in a bow. The narrow black painted wood frames are original; each has a brass hanger with an embossed design. The framed size is 6 1/2 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches wide; the brass hanger adds another 3/4 inch in height. They weigh a mere 10 ounces each and are both in excellent condition, including frames and glass. John Van Bibber's stamp, which includes the year date 1936, is on each, providing valuable documentation.

John Van Bibber (1904-2001) was born in Dixon, Illinois. He traveled the country, cutting silhouettes at various venues such as Hislop's Department Store in Auburn, New York, in 1937. From Hislop's advertisement in The Citizen-Advertiser newspaper there:

4801 Vintage John Van Bibber Silhouette boy only signed area

Special This Week!
By John Van Bibber, Scissor Artist
A splendid likeness of your own profile or your child's, cut in three minutes by a silhouette artist of national reputation. These Van Bibber silhouettes are suitable for framing and are works of art of which you can be truly proud.
2 for 75 cents

This was a common practice for "scissor artists" to set up in different towns and cities across America to reach wider audiences for their art. Parents in particular loved to have artwork of their children to display in their homes. Fortunately, this pair has survived for 83 years, framed and ready to decorate your home.

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PYH 4801

African American Artist Vivian Schuyler Key Vintage Oil Painting

Vivian Schuyler Key Vintage Oil Painting

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  • Vintage item
  • $295.00
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This lovely signed painting was created by Vivian Schuyler Key (American, 1905–1990), the first African American female to graduate with a Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute (1923). She established herself as a painter and sculptor during the Harlem Renaissance cultural movement. An illustrator for The Crisis Magazine of the NAACP, Key was one of only 49 artists included in the first exhibit of art created by African American women at Illinois State University in 1981. She is the subject of a 1990 book entitled, "Vivian Schuyler Key: One of Many Voices, 1926-1980" by Crystal Britton. Mrs. Key painted a portrait of W.E.B. Du Bois and corresponded with him in the 1960's. Her work was featured in the 2012 exhibit entitled "Vivian Schuyler Key: Artist of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond" at the Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. We've included a black and white photograph of Mrs. Key at her easel and also her 1924 Hempstead, Long Island High School yearbook listing, which predicted a great future for her as an artist.

4717 Vintage Oil Painting Vivian Schuyler Key Listed American Artist full picture no frame

The painting has a paper tag on the back stating "This is a Genuine Oil Painting painted entirely by hand. The artists (sic) name is V.S. Key {note: the name is written in ink by hand} Art Associates--New York City." It depicts a mixed bouquet of pink, yellow and blue flowers with green foliage set against a shaded, pale beige ground. Done on artists' board, it's signed 'Key' in red to the lower left.

4717 Vintage Oil Painting Vivian Schuyler Key Listed American Artist full back of frame view

Actual size of the painting is 8 inches by 6 inches; framed size is 11 inches by 9 inches and it projects 1 3/4 inches from the wall. The concave warm brown walnut frame has a gilt liner; overall, it's in very good condition, with a few dents to the wood but no color loss or corner separations. The original dust paper on the reverse is intact and there is a small round metal hanger affixed to the upper edge of the frame. (We would be glad to have our framer install a horizontal hanging wire-just let us know.) The painting itself is in excellent condition and displays beautifully.

Vivian Schuyler Key - Artist of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond
This painting, created mid-century by an eminent listed American artist, is a wonderful find.

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PYH 4717

Falconer on Horseback Antique Persian Clay Art Tile

  • Antique item
  • $175.00
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This beautiful antique polychrome tile from Persia (now Iran) was made in the 19th century, during the Qajar Dynasty (1794-1925). The hand painted scene, molded so it is raised in relief from the surface of the rough clay, depicts a falconer, mounted on his horse and assisted by his stable boy, with his falcon perched on his left arm, wings spread. There is a 1 1/2 inch wide band of floral designs 

Antique Persian Clay Tile Hand Painted close up bottom front

along the top edge; imagine the lovely effect that dozens of these tiles would have side by side in a frieze on a wall or along a ceiling. The palette of colors used includes cobalt blue, soft green, mauve, and black that is diluted to a grey wash for the horse. It is nicely executed, unlike some of the cruder paintings on these tiles that we've seen. After the tile was molded and painted, an alkaline glaze was applied and fired, protecting the artwork and giving the tile its lustrous sheen. 

Antique Persian Clay Tile Hand Painted Full Back View

The tile measures 9 1/2 inches from top to bottom, 5 1/2 inches wide, about 5/8 inch thick and it weighs 2 pounds. There is paint loss in one spot (the stable boy is missing most of his right hand) and when the tile was removed from its original installation, a small chunk was broken off on the back of the bottom right corner, which also created a 1/2 inch long hairline in the glaze. The upper left hand corner also has a small chip, but all in all the tile is well preserved and very decorative. Given its size, it could be framed at minimal cost, but can be hung with a removable adhesive hanger and also propped on a stand or a shelf. However you display it, it adds an ancient, exotic touch.

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PYH 4639

Chinese Art Qing Dynasty Mandarin and Wife Statues

Chinese Statues of a Qing Dynasty Mandarin and Wife

Sold - $295.00
This intricately and beautifully carved pair of vintage wooden statues portrays a Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) mandarin and his wife. Each measures 16 1/2 inches tall, making them an impressive display of Chinese art. The surface is finished in red gilt, having been lacquered first in iron red and then gilded. The level of detail is wonderful and we mention just a few of them: a crane carved on the front of the mandarin's robe and a pair of dragons at the hem; his long hair queue down his back (the norm for men of the Qing Dynasty); his wife's gorgeous robe topped with ropes of beads and her elaborate hairdo that ends in a short queue in the back.

They are both seated on drum-shaped garden stools of the period that have bands of carving top and bottom and simplified representations of Chinese coins around the centers. In the Qing Dynasty, Manchu mandarins were elite scholars and government officials who had to pass rigorous tests to achieve this status, enabling them to wear such finery. Almost 1 1/2 feet tall, the statues measure 7 inches wide at the bases and the same front to back. They actually have small carved feet (literally) as well as a round base that elevates them about 3/8 inch. There are 4 white felt protector pads on the bottom of each. The mandarin weighs 4 pounds 4 ounces and his lady weighs 3 pounds 14 ounces. Both bear the old red and white paper "Made in China" labels, with four Chinese characters and that also state "Fabrique en Chine," which is the same thing in French. The plain red and white label with the number 4641 hand written on it is from a former collection catalog. It is possible that the statues are older than the labels, which may have been applied to comply with export laws.
4663 Red Gilt Chinese Statues Late Qing Dynasty full bottom view with made in china paper label

4663 Red Gilt Chinese Statues Late Qing Dynasty full back of man
Both of these statues are in excellent condition, with much rubbing to the gilding, which may have been intentional. We find no breaks or chips except that the "toes" of the mandarin's right foot are missing, but the area is painted and gilded, so it probably occurred during the carving process.

For those who love Asian accents for their home, these spectacularly decorative statues are a terrific find.
4663 Red Gilt Chinese Statues Late Qing Dynasty full back view female

NOTE: Due to the size and weight of these statues, for US addresses we will ship them USPS Parcel Select Ground unless you choose (and pay for) Priority Mail at checkout. Shipping for our Canadian customers can be calculated at checkout.

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PYH 4663

Brightly Colored Mexican Story Dish

Mexican Story Dish Hand Painted by Francisco Concepción Rios /Fiesta de Quinceañera
Sold - $90.00
This two-handled dish is from the Balsas River basin in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The decorations on this barro pintado (painted clay) piece are called Nahuatl painting, named after the people living in the 23 villages there. The brightly colored, intricately detailed painted scenes document the celebrations and traditions of the communities. Depicted on this story dish is a "Fiesta de Quinceañera," the 15th birthday celebration of a Mexican girl's coming of age.

In the center of the dish we find the birthday girl, the quinceañera, dancing in her red full-length ball gown, surrounded by a circle of dancers holding hands. At the center bottom of the scene are her eight attendants, wearing matching white headdresses. There is very little negative space on this artwork; everywhere we look, there is a figure, a decorative design, a bit of foliage and flowers, even on the underside of the wide rim. The handles and the upper edge of the rim were painted in Mexican-flag green. It is hand signed on the reverse by the artist Francisco Concepción Rios.

4579-Mexican Pottery Bowl by Francisco Concepción Rios close up potters name-1464 x 878.jpg

The dish itself measures 9 1/2 inches wide; including the handles it's 11 1/4 inches across. It's about 2 inches high at the handles and weighs 1 1/2 pounds. It's in very good condition, with only a few tiny chips around the rim (which always gets the brunt of the knocking around) and a few more to the undecorated bottom. The overall finish is semi-gloss, which marks it as vintage, probably from the 1970's/1980's, since the newer Nahuatl pottery is high-fired and glossy.

Balsas folk pottery like this dish has become internationally known and this is an especially fine, signed example.

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PYH 4579

Antique Chalkware Urn & Fruit

Victorian Chalkware Antique Urn & Fruit Original Polychrome Paint
Sold - $275.00

Nineteenth century chalkware is truly folk art, meaning art made by everyday folk for their enjoyment. Chalkware was first sold in Massachusetts by a man named Henry Geyer who advertised them as plaster figures in the January 25, 1770 “Boston News-Letter.” They were meant as inexpensive copies of Staffordshire figurines, which were too pricey for the average person.

The term chalkware is not really accurate, since the medium used was not actually chalk but gypsum, the primary ingredient in plaster of Paris, which was molded and then painted with watercolors. The original gaudy colors faded over time, which is evident in this example. Beautiful large fruit-filled urns such as this one were commonly used as centerpieces. One of the fruits shown is a banana, which were introduced in America in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.
This piece is of hollow construction with an open base that has been felted. The plaster of Paris has a nice mellow off-white color, not a bright white like new material. It weighs 6 pounds, 13 ounces and the measurements are 13 inches tall, 12 inches long, 8 inches front to back and a base of 4 ½ by 3. There is a chipped corner on the base, a chipped leaf tip, a chip off one banana end, chips on the underside of the rim and some areas of paint loss on the urn, but none of that is glaringly obvious or detracts from its wonderful antique look. It has an excellent original surface and no repairs, restoration or repainting.
Antique chalkware pieces, especially fruit urns, are difficult to find. Like all great folk art, this piece would work well in a traditional or modern interior.

PYH 3783

Limoges Bowl and Plate | Mandavy de Mavaleix | Hand Painted by Barathé

Limoges Bowl and Plate by Mandavy de Mavaleix Hand Painted by Barathé

  • Antique items
  • $120.00
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This gorgeous matching bowl and plate were made in the Limoges region of France by the firm of Mandavy de Mavaleix, owned by Léon Mandavy and Paul Maurice de Mavaleix, in the years 1908 to 1920. They were known in French as a 'Fabricant décorateur,' both manufacturing and decorating the china, although they did sell their blanks for other artists to paint. These pieces, which are in the "Old Abbey" body style, were decorated "in house" and signed by their artist Barathé on the faces of both. The rims are edged in the customary gilding; the vivid, beautifully painted Emperor tulips, both open and closed, are splashed on a shaded green background and framed with their leaves.

The bowl measures 10 inches across from pierced handle to pierced handle and 8 3/4 inches in diameter not including them. It stands 2 1/4 inches tall and weighs a bit over a pound. It's stamped on back in green "Old Abbey" and "Limoges"; there is also a faded M de M backstamp, difficult to discern and impossible to photograph. The bowl is in nice vintage shape, no cracks, chips or repairs, just wear to the gilding on the embossed rim. The tulips the artist painted on the back are a lovely extra touch.

The plate, while equally as striking as the bowl, bears two small chips on the front, on the lower edge, which reveal the pure white porcelain underneath. Otherwise, it's in good shape, with normal wear to the gilding. The maker's marks on the back are on the right in one of the photographs and include a stamped red "HAND PAINTED" and a very clear M de M mark. The plate measures just over 8 1/2 inches in diameter, stands 1 inch high and weighs 12 ounces.

This luscious antique Limoges pair will be treasured for years to come.

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PYH 4327, PYH 4328

Schoenau Bros | Antique Imari Cream Jug and Sugar Bowl

Schoenau Brothers Antique Imari Cream Jug and Sugar Bowl
Sold - $55.00
A dainty matched pair consisting of a cream pitcher and lidded sugar bowl in the Imari pattern, these fine antique porcelain pieces were made by Schoenau Brothers in the German state of Thuringia. They are marked on the bottoms with painted blue crossed swords along with an "H" for Huttensteinach, the town where the porcelain manufactory was located. This mark imitated Meissen's "crossed swords" mark, so closely that Meissen filed a legal objection in 1896. and the Schoenau firm was forced to discontinue using the mark (although many reference sources state that they used the mark until 1920.)

The traditional Imari pattern that covers the cream pitcher, the sugar bowl and the wide rim of its lid was hand painted in cobalt blue and iron red with lots of gilding on the pure white porcelain bodies. There are scrolls, diamonds and flowers; a sinuous vine of cobalt and gold on the creamer handle and rings of gold and cobalt on the lid, topped by a knop in the same colors. 

The cream jug measures 4 inches tall to the top of the handle; the sugar bowl stands 3 1/2 inches tall. Both have painting errors such as small smears and lumps of paint and a tiny missing piece of porcelain on the rim of the lid, which happened in the firing; it's on a white part of the pattern, so it blends in (there is a bit of blue china paint in it). Both are otherwise in excellent condition, with no cracks or chips, merely the expected wear to the gilding. In the photographs showing the upper rim of the sugar bowl, what appears to be a tiny chip on the rim is actually a bit of excess gold paint.

These beautiful Imari pattern porcelain pieces look especially lovely with Gaudy Welsh or white ironstone and anywhere you want an exotic dash of pattern and color.

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PYH 4535

Bing and Grøndahl Coffee Pot #91B

Seahorse Motif Bing and Grøndahl Coffee Pot #91B


  • Antique Item
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Bing and Grøndahl was a Danish ceramics manufacturer founded in 1853, famous for their fine porcelains. This coffee pot is a lovely example of their artistry, decorated in their Traditional Blue design with sprigs of berries and flowers in cobalt blue on pure white. The charming lid finial and the handle are molded in the form of seahorses and there are molded "fish scales" on the lid and the base. The lid goes on just one way, which locks it into place for safety. The spout is fluted and has a tiny hole, both of which are designed to prevent dripping when pouring.
The printed green mark on the bottom was used from 1962 to 1970 and consists of three towers which are derived from the Coat of Arms of Copenhagen. Beneath those is the word "Kjøbenhavn," the Danish word for their capital city of Copenhagen, followed by the word DENMARK and the model number 91B, used by B & G with various patterns. This pattern plays well with other blue and white porcelain patterns from Bing and Grøndahl, as well as several from Royal Copenhagen and Villeroy & Boch, among others.

The pot is 9 1/2 inches tall to the top of the knob on the lid, 7 inches across from spout to handle and it holds 4 cups. With its lid on it weighs one pound nine ounces. It's in mint condition, apparently never used and absolutely lovely in every way. 

>>>We have currently have available an antique Villeroy & Boch bowl in their Meissen pattern that is similar to that on this coffee pot. Here's the link:

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PYH 4649

Bristol Glass Botanical Art Antique Vase

Hand Blown Antique Bristol Glass Vase, Victorian Hand Enameled Botanical Art


Hand blown in the late Victorian era, circa 1880, this tall, semi-opaque glass vase is known as Bristol glass. Bristol was an important glassmaking center in England in the 1700's and 1800's, and although this vase is a distant relative of the painted milk glass made there, collectors have nevertheless adopted the name. The piece was probably made in Bohemia, known for the fine quality and large quantity of their glass that was exported to America. 

One of the reasons Bristol glass is appreciated is for the delicate hand enameled decorations, some of which are simple and amateurish. The more desirable and valuable pieces, like this vase, are skillfully and complexly painted, like miniature works of art. This vase is also gilded, both with bands around the mouth rim and below it, the neck and base and also as fern fronds among the flowers. The flowers are lovely, realistically painted in the predominant colors of blue, white, brown and green on the face of the vase. On the reverse side is a simple brown floral motif with a tracery of gilt. 

This glass is referred to by Bristol glass collectors as "clambroth," this shade a mushroomy greenish taupe. (If you Google "clambroth glass" the different definitions will give you a headache.) While it appears completely opaque in some light, it also has a fiery glow when lit from within (see our photograph # 6). The pontil mark on the bottom has been polished smooth and it has a handwritten "16." in black, typical on many Bristol glass pieces, possibly identifying the shape or the artist. This is a large vase measuring 12 1/2 inches tall, with a 4 1/2 inch wide mouth, a 16 inch circumference at the shoulder and a base 4 5/8 inches in diameter. It weighs 1 1/2 pounds and is in remarkably fine condition. There is wear to the gilt, primarily on the bottom band on the stepped base and a few bubbles in the handmade glass. It displays beautifully and is impressive as a stand alone vase or as part of a collection.

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PYH 4651

Covered With Charms Milagros and Mementos Antique Wooden Memory Bowl

Antique Wooden Memory Bowl Covered With Charms Milagros and Mementos
This rare example of a memory vessel is a massive primitive wooden bowl covered with over 100 fascinating mementos. The bowl was hand hewn from a solid log; it's darkened with age and still bears the rough tool marks on the inside. The exterior of the bowl has hand hammered tin and copper objects, both large and small, attached with tiny nails. Many of the items are milagros, Mexican religious amulets used to beseech favors and give thanks. Unlike memory jugs or jars, which are covered with putty or plaster and then completely encrusted with trinkets, the adornments on this vessel were carefully spaced to achieve an artful balance.

Anchored by the spectacular tin heart with a copper center, a sampling of the varied range of symbols includes: A cowboy hat, coiled snake, and a couple of scorpions; lots of crosses, large and tiny; several crowns and the Vitruvian Man; parts of the body such as an arm and a leg; an ankh and a peace symbol. Memory vessels like this began in the South as memorials for loved ones. Given the presence of the milagros, we believe this bowl was made in the southwest in the 1800's and then decorated as a memorial at a later date. Most of the memory jugs we've seen (and sold) were decorated with jewelry, coins, mirrors and other personal effects. The strong religious theme of the mementos on this bowl suggest an origin in a southwest town bordering Mexico, probably in Texas. 

The bowl itself is 14 inches wide across the top and 10 inches across the bottom. It has a thick rim over 1 inch wide and tapers inside to a 4 1/2 inch diameter bottom. It stands 8 inches tall and weighs an amazing 11 1/2 pounds. The bowl has several narrow age cracks, which do not affect its sturdiness. The trinkets are all in very good condition, with only eight empty nails. Four round white foam pads were attached to the bottom at some point to protect surfaces; they could be easily removed if you wish. 

Folk art pieces like this memory bowl are rare and obviously unique. It's a 3-D scrapbook, the symbolism endlessly fascinating, the vessel itself a remembrance of a time, a place and a life. 

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PYH 4617

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Wedding Basket Chinese Antique from the Qing Dynasty

Chinese Antique Wedding Basket Qing Dynasty
This handsome basket exhibits the exceptional workmanship and detailing that was given to both useful and ornamental objects by Chinese craftsmen. Baskets like these are commonly called wedding baskets but they are actually betrothal baskets. The two lidded compartments, finely woven of rattan, were used to transport gifts such as tea sets, linens, incense, candles and snacks and beverages. 

The frame is dark reddish brown bamboo, the two sides beautifully carved with auspicious symbols and fastened with brass circlets. They form "feet" at the bottom and a stationary handle at the top, which can be used to carry the basket when it is filled and quite heavy. The wooden handle is surmounted by a heavy hand-wrought brass carrying handle set on an ornamental back plate pierced with symbols. The rattan portion of the topmost lid was woven in two colors to form a shòu character, symbol of longevity, wishing long life to the betrothed couple. There are also two small feet that support the basket, which is 20 1/2 inches tall to the top of the bamboo handle and about 16 inches across including the side supports. The basket weighs a sturdy 7 pounds, 4 ounces. 

This example has seen use and shows obvious age, having been made in the latter part of the 1800's in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The rattan basketry is rubbed along the sides from carrying, so there are areas that are lighter in color. The brass has developed a darkened patina and there is minor chipping along the bottom edges and on the feet. As is common with Chinese lidded baskets, the most wear is to the rim of the lid, where there is some loss of the bamboo edge (pictured). Overall, the basket is in very good condition. It displays beautifully and is large enough to be used as a side table, as well as a fabulous wedding gift. 

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PYH 4379