Very Fine Tramp Art Church
Tramp art was produced through out the world with a large concentration in the United States since the Civil War and into the early 20th century. Discarded cigar boxes and wooden crates were the primary materials. Geometric parts were hand carved and formed the intricate art form. Mirror frames, boxes, chests and a myriad of objects were produced. The owner sent this information on the church: “I talked to my dad and here is what I got. My grandfather didn’t make it. It was my dad’s Godfather, Martin Thadivaske. He worked with my grand father in his blacksmith business in Sunnyside Queens. After the era of blacksmiths ended he worked for Ford Motor Company as a welder. Martin made the church as a present to my dad. Martin lived in Jersey City. My dad told me when he was a young child he would set the church up outside their Skillman Avenue brownstone on Christmas eve and play church hymns on his record player for people walking to mass. Dad also told me that Martin was a heavy cigar smoker and he’s sure all the boxes were his. my dad is 89 now but has a very sharp memory.” Restoration began by reattaching over 60 loose carvings. All te old hide glue was removed and replaced. It was very important to mark each piece as they can get mixed up easily. The warped floor the church sits on was repaired. The portico and narthex are supported by two columns that support the arcade. Between the upper arcade and the steeple is an entablature that cover the clock area. All of these parts were re-glued and cleaned. We were able to find a pocket watch from the era that fits in the tower. the church is completely wired for 4 lights. The plug and wire to the base was badly damaged. We switched out the system to 12 volts and put in LED lights for safety. There is a timer so the system shuts off after 30 minutes. Again this is an outstanding work of art and the proportions are exquisite. It has been a pleasure to restore this piece.
Original Chesapeake Bay Area Punt Gun
We cleaned the surface due to water stains and repaired a severe crack in the stock. The flintlock mechanism needed to be cleaned and adjusted. They are called punt guns because of the placement on punt boats that are flat-bottom boats for easy access to marsh areas. With a 2″ bore and lots of lead, or other metal fragments, these guns could harvest approximately 25-60 ducks or geese with one shot.
Victorian Platform Rocker with Footrest
This was a restoration and re-upolstery of an unusual early Victorian Platform Rocker. We needed to remake several of the original metal parts and mechanisms in order for the chair to function correctly. Various wooden parts were also in need of repair and replaced.
Original Herschell Spillman Carousel Horse
Re-glued extensive damage to the legs and various parts of this fine example of a carousel horse. Paint was matched as close to original as possible.
Repaired damaged sections on frame and matched existing finish on wood. Also replaced missing metal. Back was upholstered to match seat.
Bremen Upright Piano
Complete restoration of a Bremen upright piano. Re-glued all of the loose parts and refinished the entire surface that had extensive water damage and various scratches. The keys were removed and cleaned. We than had the piano professionally tuned.
Testimonal from customer: “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the work you did on my grandmother’s piano. Being a piano and not a table or chair, I’m sure it provided a bit of a challenge for you. The restoration work was amazing. It looks almost better than it did when I first got it 32 years ago. The best part was that you were able to retain the original labeling on it. If my grandmother were here today, I’m sure she would be pleased as well. It was great that you kept me updated on the progress through phone calls and pictures, and were willing to work with me on the payments for it. I will definitely refer you to anyone who needs any type of restoration work done. Thank you so much!!”
Early Rocking Horse
Repaired broken frame and replaced two custom metal rods.
Studebaker Fire Truck Seat
Complete wood and upholstery restoration of antique fire truck seat.
Early Hat Rack and Umbrella Stand
All loose parts were re-glued and the base painted.
Pot Table (pronounced “poe”) – Early 19th Century.
This small case piece is of French design in the Empire Style. It was used to hold a pitcher and bowl on the shelf with a chamber pot on the floor of the piece. This cabinet had many pieces of loose veneer and some frame damage.
Victorian Baby Carriage
The restoration of this Victorian baby carriage included, cleaning and sealing the metal and wooden parts, repairing and rejuvenating the wicker basket, and reupholstering the inside and top.
Tramp Art Box
This unusual tramp art box was re-glued and several missing parts were replaced.
“Often ambitious, innovative, complex, obsessive, moving and extraordinarily crafted, tramp art was introduced to America during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries primarily by Northern and Eastern European immigrants…
From what is known about some of these tramp artists, they were working-class, frugal, often inveterate whittlers, tinkerers, inventors, sometimes artisans by profession, and discontent to be idle. Most smoked cigars, but then, so did nearly every man who could afford them. And, although the stories tend to be vague or apocryphal, tramp art was undoubtedly carved by hoboes especially during economic depressions of this and the last centuries.”*
* Clifford A. Wallach and Michael Cornish, Tramp Art One Notch at a Time, The Craft, the Techniques & the Makers (New York: Wallach-Irons, 1998) 12, 16.
This lectern was restored for a very distinguished organization on the East Coast.
This style of wagon was displayed in the local hardware stores in the early 1900’s. This early wagon was restored for the owner’s grandchildren. The handle was repaired and the loose spokes were tightened as well as the metal brackets.