Bailey, T. – Morris Hambro pseudonym

Matilda Bailey needlework and oil on silk painting, "Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius", signed

p4A ItemID E8915222
Henry Bailey Snell oil on canvas painting, landscape with a farmhouse, signed

p4A ItemID E8892656
Alfred Thompson Bricher (American, New York/New Hampshire, 1837-1908) oil on canvas painting, Bailey's Hill, Nahant, unsigned

p4A ItemID E8867062
William R. Davis, "Moon Rise Over Bailey Island Me", oil on board, signed

p4A ItemID F7982769

T. Bailey & Morris Hambro

T. Bailey was a fictitious marine painter. Numerous paintings bearing this signature emerged from Boston and Winthrop, Massachusetts between 1910 and 1938. T. Bailey was a pseudonym invented by Morris Hambro (1860 to 1938), a London-born sign-painter and salesman who came to the U.S. in 1865 and began peddling the Bailey paintings after 1910. The typical work showed a tall ship on the high seas , its sails unfurled. Hambro created the fictive artist and sold the paintings door to door, mostly to businesses, traveling from Boston to Worcester, to New Bedford, to Portland, Maine, to Cape Cod, and to Fall River, Massachusetts. Hambro was extremely successful in his endeavor; one gallery in Boston (the Addition Gallery) reportedly bought the paintings “by the dozen.”

A number of names have been suggested as the actual painter or painters of the marines: Vivian Forsythe Porter, Max Berman (who was married to Hambro’s niece), Sears Thompson, J.G. Cloudman, Mae Bennet Brown, Melbourne C. Hardwick; and in particular, William Frederick Paskell. It is believed that Hambro bought the works from the artists for $15 to $20, added Bailey’s signature, and then sold the paintings for up to $50 a piece. Whether the artists themselves even knew about Hambro’s strategy is unknown.


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