The Unreproducible Pennsylvania Prize — Dower Chests

The characterstics that Pennsylvania German dower chests have never been mass reproduced in modern times and probably would never be, distinguishes them from other more grandeur types of furniture such as Duncan Phyfe chairs or Lannuier side tables, both of which can find their not-so-cheap and no-so-well-done modern reproduction. Thus, antiques collectors can say Nietzsche was wrong when he insisted that in a world of objective meaninglessness one must fall into nihilism unless one acts as if one’s acts recur eternally. Those Pennsylvania prize would never recur again in the next life, so treasure it when you can. [Read more…]

Armory Antiques Show

The real startling object found in the show came from a dealer Thurston Nicholes from Breinigsville, PA. A painted chest, both dated and signed, was marked at 285,000 dollars. It did attract a lot of visitors, probably all wondering why it commands such a price. But it may have significant cultural heritage meaning or may even relates to some German descendants, it would be hard to imagine someone to buy it for its aesthetic or utilitarian purpose. [read more…]

True Reflection — Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection at Morgan Library

One of the appeals of the modern arts to the young generations is the intentional traces of human labor, the proof of art creation by means of visible brushwork, layers of paint and scribbled seemingly randomness that echoes the human natures. Here, far away from the fear and burden of being criticized by the convention of neoclassicism or other approved styles, the artists of the 19th century were bold and adventurous. They experimented, explored and tried out the subject with all different techniques. In these works, they shines not for their craftsmanship but for their artistic curiosity. […]

Furnishing the Frontier

For residents of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Boston wanting fine home furnishings there were enough residents to support a cabinetmaking industry before 1800. In Charleston and elsewhere, the furnishing were more likely to come from England. In frontier cities like Pittsburgh, however, the economics of transportation and the landscape made it necessary to import a cabinetmaker.[…]