Fantastic Antique Folk Art Costumes Watercolor on Laid

Regular price $275.00

This is one of my favorite things I've found and I'd be very glad to keep it for myself, but I've gotten so in the habit of listing everything! It is ink and watercolor on laid paper, and I would guess early-mid 19th century, but a bit of a mystery beyond that. What I know is that there was a good deal of interest in international costume in the early 1800s both in Europe and in American (I have a hand-colored deck of "cards" made from American bookplates c. 1830s showing traditional costumes from around the world) and this watercolor seems a bit of that ilk. But these faces! And these fantastic hats! And just wonderful patterns and details. So singular feeling and with a great sense of mystery and strangeness. To the left of the feet of each woman is a letter - E, F, G, H--so perhaps they were part of a larger set corresponding to the alphabet? I would guess European, but really don't know for sure. I do know that they are marvelously graphic, the black and blue bold and lush, with pale pink blushes to their fabulously odd and a bit worried looking faces, and the whole thing absolutely fantastic.

16 1/8 "x 12 7/8” framed, as found. Sight: 10 1/4 x 13 1/4. Watercolor is in excellent condition. There is some glare, not flaws, caught in photos. Frame shows a few surface nicks and wear here and there. On reverse is a stamp that it was professionally framed some years ago (World Art Ltd, Newton, MA.) I have not taken it out of the frame but it appears that it would be easy to reframe if desired.