John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

Born in Boston, John Ritto Penniman came from a talented family, his father was a physician and entrepreneur, and his ten siblings include booksellers, an artist and inventor, and a teacher. Penniman trained as an ornamental painter in Roxbury, Massachusetts, which was, at the time, a community of artisans, including clock and furniture makers. Some of his early work was as a dial painter for noted clockmakers Aaron [...] Click here to continue reading.

Cartouche – Definition

Cartouche – Definition

The decorative arts world has many “squishy” and vague vocabulary words, but few are “squishier” and vaguer than cartouche. Originally, the term comes from Egyptology and is used to describe a oval enclosing hieroglyphics and having a horizontal line at one end. (The line denotes royalty.) The oval had significance not unlike that of a closed circle, in that it was believed that an oval around a person’s name provided protection [...] Click here to continue reading.

White, Stanford – American Architect & Artist

Stanford White (1853-1906)

Stanford White (November 9, 1853 – June 25, 1906) was in his day best known for his Beaux-Arts work with the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, in which he was a partner, work which typifies what is thought of as the American Renaissance of art and design.

White’s family had no money, but were still well connected in the art world of New York in the 19th century, and [...] Click here to continue reading.

Geyer Family Collection of Tiffany Masterworks

Geyer Family Collection of Tiffany Masterworks

Over a span of 40 years, Burton and Paula Geyer have assembled one of the finest private collections of works by Tiffany Studios, with a special emphasis on museum-quality lamps and fancy goods. Starting in Brooklyn as schoolteachers, Mr. and Mrs. Geyer were enthusiastic collectors of Tiffany Studios works early on, often buying pieces on installment plans from top galleries. They learned from many of the pioneers of [...] Click here to continue reading.

Newcomb-Macklin Picture Frame

Newcomb-Macklin Company

S.H. McElswain founded a framing company in 1871 in Evanston, Illinois, but the name by which it is known to collectors today comes from a partnership that began twelve years later in 1883, with McElswain’s bookkeepers Charles Macklin and John C. Newcomb, who formed a partnership in order to assume command of the business.

The company, which would have enough success to support showrooms in Chicago and New York as well [...] Click here to continue reading.

Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg of Vallin Galleries – Skinner 3-18-2014 Prov Note

Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg of Vallin Galleries, Wilton Connecticut

Discerning collectors, dealers, and museum curators of Asian art regularly made pilgrimages to a charming 18th century saltbox home in Wilton, Connecticut: Vallin Galleries. Owned and operated by Peter L. Rosenberg for nearly thirty years until his sudden death in December of 2013, Vallin Galleries was widely regarded as an outstanding source for the best of Asian art and antiques. Skinner is proud to [...] Click here to continue reading.

Tibbits, Captain Hall Jackson

Captain Hall J. Tibbits (American, 1797 to 1872)

This article about the life and career of Captain Tibbits by Eric C. Rodenberg appeared on the 4 November 2013 front page of Antique Week’s National Section. Used by permission. http://www.antiqueweek.com.

1800s Sea Captain’s Life Told Through Collection

At 6 foot, 4 inches tall and “powerfully built” Capt. Hall Jackson Tibbits would brook no foolishness.

After his “religious principles” were violated by passengers dancing on [...] Click here to continue reading.

Marly Horse Sculpture

The Marly Horses

“Marly Horses,” paired sculptures also sometimes known as “horse tamers,” or just “horses restrained by grooms,” have their origins in France, probably by way of ancient Rome. Since the early days of Rome, a pair of sculptures, each of a man with a horse, have been on Quirinal Hill in the city. The spirited horses and the men seeking to control them are a discourse on power that has appealed to [...] Click here to continue reading.

Ormolu – non-furniture definition

Ormolu

Ormolu, an 18th-century English term, is from the French phrase or moulu, with “or” indicating gold and “moulu” being a form of an old French verb moudre, which means “to grind up.” (This French term for this technique is bronze dore.) This idea of “ground-up gold”refers to the production process of ormolu, where high-quality gold is finely powdered and added to a mercury mixture and applied to a bronze object. Modern usage often [...] Click here to continue reading.

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

Derived from the Greek sarx, meaning flesh, and phagein, meaning eat, a sarcophagus is, essentially, a container for a body, much like a coffin or casket. Historically, sarcophagi were typically made of stone (though sometimes of other materials, such as wood or metal), with a relief-carved or pediment top, and designed to be above ground, and have been used by many cultures since ancient times.

An ancient [...] Click here to continue reading.

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