John Haley Bellamy Carved Wall Bracket (Shelf), Patriotic, Full Portrait, Eagle, Bunting
General George McClellan
Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire (1836-1914)
Possibly Titcomb & Bellamy Date/Period: Circa 1860-1870
Condition: Very good, the brackets supporting shelf appear to be carved by different hands.
Additional Information: A fine and rare example…what-not shelf, likely custom-made;
carved and pierced imagery is probably the product of the master woodcarver himself. A
pair of stared American streamers joined by incised star and a bowed American shield
surmount the scalloped shelf with molded edge. A never-before-seen portrait bust of
mustached man is centered by scrolls beneath which is displayed a spread winged
eagle clutching a globe.
Works by Bellamy are represented in many prominent museum collections, including
but not limited to the Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA, The American Folk Art
Museum, New York, NY, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, and Shelburne
Museum, Shelburne, VT, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg,
VA, and Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, MI.
A Fine Whale End Hanging Wall Shelf, Scrolled Profiles, Cupids Bow Profiles Date/Period: Circa 1821
Measurement: Height: 33"; width: 33"; depth: 7.5"
Material: Dense mahogany, wonderful graining, and color; has four brass hanging
Condition: Excellent; top and bottom rails are morticed for four additional hanging
devices now gone.
Additional Information: Displaying and inventive design; three graduated shelves
featuring cupid’s bow cutouts, molded rails under top and bottom shelves…scalloped
lobes to stiles at middle shelf.
18th Century Standing Shelves on Shoe Feet, William & Mary
Probably England Date/Period: 1700-1760
Additional Information: This good-looking shelf unit may have once sat on a pewter
dresser or similar case piece. What we do know is that it is period, attractive and
functional…very stable standing on floor. The top shelf featuring a projecting cornice
above beautifully turned front posts – the rear posts being rectangular stiles. Mortice,
tenon, and wooden peg joinery; great color and patina. Each molded shelf features a
plate groove; there are six hand wrought hooks each with tightly scrolled terminus.
Titcomb & Bellamy, Grand Army of the Republic What-Not Shelf
John Haley Bellamy [1836-1914] Date/Period: 1866-1872 - SOLD
Condition: Excellent, small, veneered mend to .5” shallow back section of scroll.
Additional Information: Crafted by the firm of Titcomb and Bellamy, manufacturers of
emblematic frames and brackets, at their 11 City Square, Charlestown, Massachusetts
studio, under the direction of John Haley Bellamy.
The determination is based on comparison of this shelf and several examples of
Bellamy’s work. Numerous stylistic attributes exist between this piece and authentic
documented Titcomb and Bellamy creations of this particular design, principally
concerning the textured dimpling displayed in the scroll bearing the inscription “JAN. 1ST
1863,” the scrollwork border and the parallel tick-marks repeated throughout this effort,
the execution of the chain, quill pen, and laurel wreath iconography; the shield displayed
at the bottom…and the serpentine “S” cuts, as-well-as the symmetry, thickness, and
weight of the piece.
Bellamy, the firm’s designer oversaw several apprentices and assistants in the
manufacture of masonic-themed brackets, frames, and clock cases of his original
conception. The pieces were machine cut before artisans made detailed cuts with hand
tools. Analysis determines that apprentices made the basic machine cuts, with
assistants and Bellamy being responsible for executing the finishing surface cuts that
define the piece and its distinctive personality. This what-not shelf is atypical in that it is
to date the only known and documented Grand Army of the Republic shelf in existence.
Long rumored to have been part of Titcomb & Bellamy’s product line however
heretofore never verified, the shelf is of inestimable scholarly value. This piece ranks
with a rare, elite grouping within Bellamy’s oeuvre adding considerably to our
understanding and appreciation of this highly talented American artist.
Masonic Shelf Bracket, What-Not Shelf Attributed to the John Haley Bellamy Workshop
Titcomb & Bellamy, Charlestown, Massachusetts
Walnut and parcel gilt, original surface - SOLD
From 1866-1872 Bellamy and partner David Titcomb operated workshop in a space they rented within the Masonic Hall building in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He employed several carvers, including his brother Elijah.
They made frames, clocks and shelves. This walnut shelf is intricately carved featuring an array of Masonic symbols true to his carving vocabulary.
(Excellent original condition; mentioned for accuracy is a tight shrinkage fissure to underside of shelf close to the bracket that does not distract or compromise the integrity. Height: 22"; width: 12"; depth: 6.25")
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