The remodel of my dining room and living room began more than two years ago. With the hanging of a few pieces of artwork in recent weeks, I think I can say I'm finished.
This massive chip carved frame, ca. 1900, is over three feet tall and weighs 20 pounds. I had been saving one wall in my dining room to hang a French chocolate poster, but until I find the right one this frame is perfect in the space. I found it very reasonably priced in Germany, but then discovered shipping to the US was $600! Luckily, my daughter's best friend and husband live in Germany at the moment and were able to send it to me via the American post office for $40; quite a difference. I can easily take out family photos and replace with new ones as the grandchildren get older.
Made of mahogany, the frame border is 9 inches wide. Each layer of carving builds on the next, making the frame 3 inches deep.
This American folk art wall cupboard was found at an auction in Vermont. I love the hand with the pointed finger. It nicely displays some of my Erzgebirge soldiers.
I found this matched set of tramp art frames which fit nicely on a short wall in the dining room and another on the opposite wall in the living room. One-of-a-kind pieces.
Perhaps my favorite piece of all, this 1920s poster is always a topic of conversation. Ironically, the little seal in the bottom center of the sign is a Union seal saying it was union made.
This tramp art frame originally had an old mirror in it. Several years ago I purchased a wonderful piece of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, calligraphy and found it fit perfectly in the frame.
Done simply in black ink with some artwork in light blue and peach, this work was done in 1847 as perhaps a gift to Patrick Donnelly to celebrate him becoming an attorney registered with the State of Pennsylvania.
At the top of the drawing is the seal of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
There is intricate 5-inch deep carving at the top of the frame finished off with a tiny heart in each corner.
This is a mid 1800s oil done of the children of a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, family by an unknown artist.
I can say that I'm finally done redecorating . . . for now.
I found these for next to nothing in Germany. The Germans just don't understand the Americans' love of tramp art, and I was thrilled to find these lovely little frames. Then I made the mistake of offering them to my daughter. I couldn't decide where to hang them and thought she would put them to good use... and she did. But then she sent photos to my son, and my telephone immediately started to ring. "Why didn't you give them to me?!! I would have taken them right away!" I promised him the next ones I find would be his... but how lucky I would be to find such a desirable heart frame again!
And as sweet and charming as the heart frame is, I almost think I like this wonderful folk art piece even better. I was thrilled they were put to such good use, but now I'm under pressure to fine even more!
Work pressures made this past summer the busiest in my career, constantly dealing with deadlines. It left time for little else, but I couldn't forget antiquing. I was limited to quick searches online and bidding at auction via telephone, but I found some wonderful pieces nonetheless which I will share with you in the coming weeks.
Tramp Art is still a hot area of folk art collecting, and I was totally enchanted when I saw a photo of this tramp art birdcage with original paint constructed as a house. I made sure I won it and wasn't disappointed when it arrived. It is a wonderful size -- almost two feet long -- a house any songbird would be proud to call home!
The original green paint is trimmed in tramp art. Windows throughout are made of real glass.
A rear view shows a little damage to the handmade shingles, but it only adds to the charm of this tramp art treasure!
Tramp Art is a form of folk art that was prevalent from the 1870s to the 1930s made mainly from used cigar boxes. Since the US government would not allow reuse of cigar boxes, they found a second life in tramp art in which the artisans carved notches and then layered the pieces to create intricate designs. The examples we find today range from funky to fine, and those incorporating hearts and stars are particularly treasured. Tramp Art was popular in Germany and the US.
This is a wonderful example of tramp art as a spice chest with porcelain labels in old German script, brass knobs and dated 1886 with the initials HH. Inside you can see the labels from the old cigar boxes used to make this wonderful spice chest.
The carving on this tramp art frame is so intricate and fine, it doesn't need a picture. It stands alone as a fine piece of folk art!
Friend Donna displays this tramp art grouping as a frame within a frame within a frame. Lovely!
Project in progress. My tramp art frame is waiting for a mirror. It combines stars (top right and left) and a heart (bottom center) to give it all the elements of a wonderful piece of tramp art!
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.