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.
A.R. Waud was an illustrator of Civil War and American frontier scenes, beginning his career as an artist-correspondent for Harper’s Weekly and assigned to the Army of the Potomac. He was one of only two artists present at the Battle of Gettysburg, and his sketch of the Battle of Pickett’s Charge may be the only image of the conflict by an eyewitness. The Library of Congress holds a large collection of his wartime sketches, and this watercolor appears to have been painted in the studio from a field sketch. Though this medium can be used for quick recording, even during a reprieve the precise application is more appropriate for a composed image that would later be reprinted in greyscake for Harper’s Weekly. The subject is uncommon for available Waud paintings, few of which have come up at auction or on the market in the past fifteen years.
(Frame: 28” x 23”; View: 16.5” x 21.5”)
Birdseye maple shell decorated with a painted patriotic eagle clutching an American
shield centered by olive branches; maple hoops feature a black painted scroll pattern
within border; ivory peep hole/vent gromet. Patented cast metal clips [2 missing],
original rope is imperfect and only one leather tightener is present; one snare strainer
present…heads are fine. We have a highly respected restorer specialist in Vermont.
(Height: 11.5"; diameter: 16.25")
Chromolithographed Spanish American War expressing the patriotic fever of the Spanish American War period. The drum with similar decoration on two sides features Admiral Dewy - hero of the day. Admiral Dewey within patriotic shield ornamented with olive branches and centered by large American flags with 13-stars. The wood rims are painted red with gold stripe; skin heads, lead grommets, decorative rope, leather slides, and snare are original. Excellent Condition. (Dimensions: 8.75" H, 12" diameter.)
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