Aside World Magazine


June 2019

Side Saddle Treasures

This is my most recent unusual acquisition.  It's a miniature gouache painting, probably from the early/mid-1830s.  Typical of these portraits, it is highly detailed - overall the piece, including the frame, is about 7" tall, so you can imagine the size of brush used!  Though these portraits are not uncommon of upper-class families, few were done in riding habits.  I particularly love the asymmetrical buttoning of the shirt, and the reddish-brown of the habit.  Her skirt would have been of the same fabric as the jacket, very full and long.  I admit I have a fondness for the ridiculous fashions of the 1830s, with their crazy low shoulders and ginormous sleeves.  It's just silly excessiveness, and it's fun. 

 The frame is laid with what a label claims to be ivory, but I have not yet tested to see if it's bone.  Ivory is actually common not only for frame elements, but also as the "canvas" for the painting.  The ivory is also on the frame edges, so I don't touch it with bare hands to avoid eventual staining.  The back label suggests it was part of a museum collection at one time, though it's impossible to be certain.  I believe the paper backing is a page from a Latin book, it's common enough to see random paper used as backing.  I've not yet had the guts to unframe the portrait.  I wonder, will it have the sitter's name on the back?  Most don't, but you never know.... 

Submitted by Jeannie Whited

Side Saddle necklace with 1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Crown Commemorative Coin and pearls.  Acquired at The Upperville Horse Show several years ago as a present for herself.   

Submitted by Tammie Conway

"Spanish Lady" tea cup and saucer made by Davenport, dated 1903.  Gifted on her birthday to Jennifer Stevenson by her dearest childhood friend.  Acquired in Rhinebeck, NY.   

Submitted by Jennifer Stevenson

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