Sunday, October 28, 2012

Winning Bid: An Apple for the Day

On Saturday afternoon, Dear Reader, I was the successful bidder at Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York, on a small American painting of an apple sitting on a pink-rimmed Paris porcelain plate.

A pretty little painting of an apple on a plate,
hanging on the wall of the dining room at Darlington House

I don't think my "new" painting is particularly old—it was probably painted no more than twenty or thirty years ago, if that—but it is done in an old-fashioned, realist style.  Enhancing the painting's early appearance is its attractive, plain, early nineteenth-century gilt frame.

A New York apple sitting on the table in
our kitchen at Darlington House

If one were to squint, one might think my little picture could have been painted in the first half of the nineteenth-century, in the manner of one of the Peales.

With the addition of a sprig of leaves from a crab apple tree inserted
into our apple (camera trickery!) and a Paris porcelain plate,
we have mimicked the painting

I bought the little picture for our dining room at Darlington House, where we have hung it underneath an early nineteenth-century painting of a basket of fruit.  It is the perfect complement to the older painting.

The surface of the painting measures only six by eight inches

I am pleased to own this charming little still life.  I was drawn to it given my fondness for the subject matter—an apple and Paris Porcelain—which I have written about repeatedly here on Reggie Darling.  I was happy that I could bring the picture home with me (and at what I consider to be a most reasonable hammer).  And I am glad that it now hangs in our dining room where it is the finishing touch to the room's decoration.

Photographs by Boy Fenwick


  1. A very nice picture and if you didn't tell me, I would have assumed that it was an old painting!

    I loved that you mimicked the painting as well. I like trickery like that!

  2. Charming painting and I love your real still life to accompany it.
    Funny, the Peales were my ancestors and there is a tidbit about CWP in my post upcoming post on Tuesday. I really do mean to write more about the family.

  3. Hello Reggie, One of the great rewards for a collector is when the threads of several interests all come together, especially in an object as attractive, charming, and suitable as this. Have you tried to identify the apple variety? Westfield Seek-no-further might be one suggestion, but I am not sure. In any event, it is a most attractive subject for a painting.
    --Road to Parnassus

  4. Adorable. And the photo is stellar.

  5. Clever photo of (still) life immitating art!

  6. Your new painting is charming, and the 19th century frame puts it over the top. It does look like a Peale painting!

  7. lovely...both your painting and your still life

  8. What a charming little painting, and a very clever representation of the same. That apple looks mouthwateringly delish!

    Batten down the hatches Reggie, and stay safe. From all accounts, you are in for some of mother nature's wildest shenanigans.

  9. That New York apple sitting on the table at DH reminds me of the ones you and Boy brought over to Silvia's the night I cooked for you! Same time next year for a repeat performance is a must!

    Keep away from windows and don't even think of going out for pictures. Poor Pompey, dogs hate it when the pressure goes down like that.

  10. An absolute jewel! Lovely post!

    Thank you!

  11. Lovely muted colours with that gold frame. Enjoyed reading about the Peales.

    Hope all three of you are in one piece.

  12. Hello Reggie:
    Your painting is absolutely charming and we are sure that it makes a beautiful and complementary addition to your dining room decorations.

    When we lived in Herefordshire, apple identification and growing were both a commerce and an historical research topic. This, after all, was and is the land of cider production and heritage apple varieties.

    Your delightful picture reminds us of our set of Worcester china which we inherited and which is hand painted with fruit in a most realistic manner. This china decorates our dining room as, like you, this seems to be a perfect place for such things.

    We do so hope that you are keeping safe and warm at Darlington House. The news reports make increasingly alarming reading, so we do trust that all is well with you.

  13. Did you know Author and gardner Beverly Nichols did the same thing? He copied a still life of flowers, although it took him years to find and grow all of them he did it. It was quite beautiful! I love your apple!
    Jane Keller

  14. I had an aunt who was an artist. She used to paint still lives (lifes?). She had 1 fabulous painting of a bowl full of apples that she was hanging in her dining room above a table with the actual bowl full of apples. I always loved that she did that.

    My grandmother had a painting that my aunt (her sister) did of a figurine. Later my grandmother acquired the figurine (or maybe it was always hers) and hung the painting about the figurine. It was a hideous figurine, I think there will be fighting over who has to take it and the painting when the time comes.

    On the other hand, your lovely picture of an apple on a plate would go fabulously with my picture of a basket full of strawberries, though my picture is a bit older, 1862.

  15. What a little jewel of a painting- It even looks as though it could keep a doctor away !!!


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