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Sold Friendship & Love Tokens
Spencerian Drawings on Single Sheet,
Love Token to Cousin Mollie
Flourished by J.W. Swank, Washington, D.C.
Nil desperandum [do not despair, never despair] - SOLD
In a competent hand are drawn birds, a leaping stag, Indian wearing headdress, a swan
with fish in bill, a female head study and verse.
Though many miles of space may spread
Its length and breadth, twist you and I
Our pens can whisper words as sweet
As echoes of an angels’ sigh.
The work is archivally mounted and matted within a period gilt frame; folds and creases;
tiny area of paper loss. (Frame: 24" x 19.75"; view: 20.5 x 16.5")
Although displaying ubiquitous symbols of mourning, the tomb, mourners, and willow
tree being standard attributes of death, the mourning picture does not create a mood of
sadness. The unknown young artist excelled in this exercise, likely an important part of
her curriculum at a female seminary to which she devoted much time. The complexity of
composition, good sense of design, and the handling of details, fluid brushwork, and the
application of gold foil to the weathervane and dog collar speak to the inspired
instruction she received. The pastoral quality of landscape setting, tight vignettes,
abundant detail…dwellings, bridge, the renderings of different types of foliage; the
bridge, a spotted dog, three birds and a fence de-emphasize the mourning iconography.
Herringbone brush strokes creating the foliage of the iconic drooping willow at the
forefront imitate the texture of needlework stitches employed in embroidery of the
period. Centering the work are grieving figures at the tomb in the foreground which is
surmounted with a festooned urn; the tomb is vacant of inscription probably anticipating
a future need. The picture is mounted within the original gilt frame under an eglomise
glass having a black enamel and gold leaf border matt; original backboard; excellent
original condition. (Frame: 29.75 by 24.75"; view: 27 by 22")
Friendship Token, Love Token, Heart and Hand Artist,
Heart & Extended Hand
Generally, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, circa 1850
Watercolor on Paper - SOLD
Mounted within a modern paint decorated
frame; 5.75" x 6.75"; view: 3.25" x 4.25"
1002-282 - SOLD
Pictorial Love Token, American School,
Potted Floral and Bird Composition
Anonymous, Early 19th Century, initialed “AM”
(bought from Rhode Island estate)
Drawn on paper, budded and flowered plant in urn, paired birds, great color - SOLD
Attributed to J. Gilbert (active 1785-1820), Fraktur artist and Lutheran schoolmaster who worked at several churches in Berks and Schuylkill Counties. [Conrad’s son was also a schoolmaster; he taught at Zion’s Union Church school, Upper Tulpehocken Township, Berks County.] The Fraktur is recorded on page 313 of Papers for Birth Dayes, Guide to the Fraktur Artists and Scrivners, Volume I, by Russell D. and Corine P. Earnest; Second Edition, 1997. The work is mounted within a period paint decorated frame.
(Frame: 17 x 13"; view: 13.5 x 9.5")
640-63 - SOLD