Saturday, August 04, 2007

175 Year Journey To Philadelphia from Bradford Mass.

Some time prior to 1940 Edith Gregory Halpert of the American Folk Art Gallery in New York City purchased a group of water colors in Cambridge , Massachusetts. Many were by Nancy Gage Ingersoll ((1787-1845) and her son John Gage Ingersoll (1815-1889)
Click on Images To Enlarge
On January 31st through February 2nd, 1985 Sotheby's in New York City held an auction of important Americana . Lots 405 through 410 were the Ingersoll items from the American Folk Art Gallery. Lots 409 and 410 were purchased by The Smithsonian Art Museum .
Lot 408 , seven framed watercolor bookplates did not meet their reserve price. Although the description in the catalog states nine items the photo shows only seven. Several years later the framed group of seven were sold at an auction in Washington, D.C. where they were purchased by a collector who kept them in in his home for twenty years. The collector recently moved and decided to sell them. They were offered to me and I was predisposed to buy them so they were shipped to me on approval.

The bookplates arrived and I barely touched the edge of one which flaked off .These items although originally drawn on acid free paper had been mounted on a highly acidic board which had darkened the paper and made it brittle. All items have now been removed from the acid board and temporarily stored in a protective setting. The next chapter in this 175 year journey is to find a paper conservator who can deacidify the paper without damaging the images. I will keep you posted as to my progress.

The image shown below is a rebus bookseller's label in a copy of The Anatomie Of Mortalitie
in the possession of Hosea Baskin. It is a puzzle that calls for a solution.What does it signify and where did it come from ? If you have information about this label please contact Mr. Baskin

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1 comment:

Mark Mawtus said...

The Rebus is for John Cole, Bookseller. The Eye, stands for I. the old J., which was already outdated in cole's time. It dates from his period in Lincoln 1817-1819, though I'm not clear as to the last part of the Rebus.