Catesby: Man of Many Talents

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A full century before John James Audubon published his Birds of America, an Englishman, Mark Catesby, brought out two folio volumes of what he grandly named Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands….This is probably the first history of any importance ever done of American flora and fauna; certainly it is the foremost on American birds, which comprise …

George E. Ohr

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

In 1893, in the small town of Biloxi, Mississippi, George E. Ohr’s Biloxi Art Pottery burned down. In common with all calamities of this kind it must have caused considerable disruption and financial distress to the victim, but a propitious effect was to ignite a smoldering radicalism in Ohr, who thereafter began to produce some of the most inventive pottery …

Seventeenth-century French enameled watches in the Walters Art Gallery

aroseshapiro Exhibitions, Furniture & Decorative Arts

This article was originally published in the December 1963 issue of ANTIQUES. In his book Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers, F. J. Britten notes that “watches with enamel painting before 1640 are exceedingly rare, and there is a marked difference in the character of such decorative work executed at the beginning, compared with that done during the later …

Children’s Mugs

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By Katharine Morrison McClinton; originally published in September 1950. From time to time Mrs. McClinton contributes a note to ANTIQUES on some intriguing bypath of collecting interest. This one, which offers an appealing approach to nineteenth-century ceramics, will be incorporated in expanded form, in her forthcoming book on antiques, to be published next year by McGraw-Hill. Nineteenth-century children’s mugs have …

Children’s toys: The New-York Historical Society, 200 years

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By Amy a. Weinstein; originally published in January 2005. Appealing to the imagination of children of all ages, the toy collection of the New-York Historical Society offers a miniature window into nineteenth-century American family life. The approximately three thousand objects that constitute the collection are made of wood, metal, paper, ceramic, and cloth and trace the social, economic, political, and …

Japanese screens

aroseshapiro Art, Exhibitions

 By Ruth Davidson; Originally published in January 1971 For the enchantment of visitors to Asia House Gallery this month and next there will be on view byōbu, or Japanese painted screens, from twelve museums and private collections in New York. Arranged so as to suggest their appearance in a Japanese house, the twenty six screens will be shown in two …

Ezra Wood, profile cutter

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By Olive Crittenden Robinson; originally published in August 1942. Among records of the many profile cutters of silhouettists of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries flourishing in Massachusetts, no mention appears of Ezra Wood who plied his art along with his trade in Buckland, Franklin County, Massachusetts. Indeed while eastern Massachusetts seems well represented in ‘black portraiture,” my search …

From the archives: “New Mexican tinwork, 1840-1915”

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By Lane Coulter; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, October 1991 The art of the tinsmith flourished in New Mexico from about 1840 to 1915. During this period Hispanic tinsmiths primarily made devotional objects that reflected the Roman Catholicism of the Spanish Southwest, but they also made a limited number of more secular objects. They used shapes derived from architecture as well as immensely …

Chinese botanical paintings for the export market

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By Karina H. Corrigan; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, June 2004. A single stem of chrysanthemum explodes off the page shown in Plate I. This exquisite Chinese export painting was executed abut 1823, two years after this variety of chrysanthemum, the so-called quilled orange, had been introduced into English gardens.1 Chinese plants were first brought to Europe in the late seventeenth century, but …

Patronage and the publication of botanical illustration

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 By Bernadette G. Callery; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, August 1989. Modern collections of botanical illustrations are treaty indebted to the patrons of the past, whose leisured curiosity and horticultural acquisitiveness enabled them to accumulate various “vegetable rarities,” and then to have those plants recorded in drawings or paintings from which published illustrations were prepared. Many of the surviving florilegia, or collections of …