Rare George & Martha Washington Chalkware Portraits
Extremely rare pair of chalkware shadowbox portraits of George and Martha Washington in original polychrome paint. Following his death in 1799, images of George became enormously popular. As his legend grew as the Father of our Country, portraits appeared in oil, reversed on glass and carved in wood. This, however, is the only example of our first president and his wife I’ve ever seen created as glass enclosed high relief chalkware images. The glass is original—wavy and with imperfections—and glazed into the rim of each chalkware box. The fine wire hanging loops are original as well. I’ve seen only one other example of this form and I suspect they were created in Pennsylvania in the first half of the 1800s. This is borne out by yellowed labels affixed to the back of the portraits attributing their creation to Adams County, PA in the early 19th C. Ex-David Good.
Halsey Munson Americana
2707 Twin Oaks Court
Decatur, Illinois 62526
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