February 10, 2022

It's just a feeling thing....

Pair of Portraits by Schwenkfelder Fraktur
Depicted Standing Before an Oval Portrait and
Beneath Two Cherubs Respectively
Pen, Ink and Watercolour on Paper, Retaining Excitingly Strong Colours
American School, c.1820

10" high x 8" wide (framed)

Love tokens and wedding gifts form a significant role in the tradition of European Folk Art. Hearts and other motifs are often found on hand made and individually decorated artefacts that were created as gifts in the courtship ritual.

Some of these are recognised, well recorded and collected, particularly in the Scandinavian Tradition, with works such as Welsh Love Spoons and of course homemade Valentines drawings and works on paper.

However, the engaging and addictive charm of Folk Art is encapsulated in unusual one-off creations… and the unexpected.

Brave, uninhibited, joyful, sometimes even childlike creations, fashioned outside mainstream art practice and with no formal precedent, but individually made to impress or to simply express sentiments of affection or love, have a particularly timeless charm and a significant appeal to collectors.

This unusual pair of naive Courting Pictures have a wonderfully whimsical character and are confidently executed in a bold colourful palette, combined with an engaging graphic appeal.

As with so many of the most exciting “discoveries” we make in our sourcing, we know nothing more about them than what we can see. No name, no date nor narrative. 

Both the blessing and the curse in the understanding of folk art is that it is not a field that can readily be taught or learnt.

Once you understand the nature of authenticity and integrity of original early folk art, going on to recognise special or significant works is not an academic or intellectual process………..it’s simply a feeling thing. 

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