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May 28, 2014

I'm searching for one word that expresses surprise, confusion, and humor.
Until I can come up with that specific word I'm going to go with the
inadequate flummoxed. But, after reading this post, let me know a
word that you think describes my discovery.
Le Petit Poulailler is one of my all time favorite blogs.  The photos
are amazing and it's an interesting, short read that perks up my day.
Last week I was astonished to find on the site a photo of an antique
folk painting that very closely resembles a painting that I've
owned for over 10 years:
The caption simply states:  ca 1810-30 Artist unidentified;
possibly Pennsylvania, USA, 'Baby in Red Chair’
Here is a photo I took this morning of
a painting that is in my living room:

 In the bottom center of the painting is written:  S.B. Scribner 3/65
which I've always interpreted as having been painted by someone
named S.B. Scribner in March of 1965.

Written in red pencil on the upper back left corner is 300 which I've
guessed was the price ($3.00) of the canvas when it was purchased in
the art supply store or maybe even sold at a yard sale many years ago.
 On the back of the painting is also a sticker from the
Fine Art Stationery Co., Westport, Conn.  There's a red
stamp above the label that says Albemarle Canvas Panel.
 "Where did you purchase your painting?" you ask.  Honestly, I
can't exactly remember but I'm fairly certain that it was at the
Renninger flea market in Mt. Dora, FL, over 10 years ago.
I've always been completely captivated by the Americana folk art
appeal of the painting and am sure that I didn't pay over $20 for it.
I do remember joking with the seller about the 300 on the back and
asked if that was the price.
All these years I've thought that I owned an original vintage painting
but, apparently, it's a reproduction of a very old piece of Americana art.
Am I unhappy?  Not at all.  It just adds another layer of mystery to a
treasure I happened upon many years ago and I actually appreciate
my little folk art tyke even more.
So, do you have a word to describe my discovery?

UPDATE:  Thanks to Sarah at Hyacinth for the Soul much of the
mystery of my 50 year old folk art painting has been solved!  She

actually saw the original work, called Baby in the Red Chair, and it is
hanging in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in
Colonial Williamsburg, VA. 

I'm guessing that S.R. Scribner saw the original painting and, in 1965,
decided to paint a copy of it.   Is the internet great, or what?!  Thanks so
much, Sarah.  Now, to track down the S.R. Scribner family . . . . .


  1. Flummoxed it pretty good! How very interesting though. Over here if someone produces a limited edition print of something it would be numbered as the numbers appear on your painting. So that would indicate it was the third of a limited run of 65 prints by S. B. Scribner.

    1. That was my first thought, too, but it's an actual oil painting. (Should have included that in the story!) Probably S.B. Scribner used the original as a study to paint their own version. It was just so amazing to see the original on the internet. For a moment I was disappointed that the inspiration for my painting wasn't original but that quickly passed. Just another example of what kooky finds turn up at flea markets, right?!

  2. How about just plain "astonished" I'd try and find the nearest "Antique Road Show" if there is one near by. You just may have a winner on your wall. Pretty close reproduction if it is.

    1. Astonished is quite appropriate. It was just so surprising to see the original that my oil painting was copied from and now I want even more information on the source. Layers of mystery!

  3. What a great story. Someone, decades ago, enjoyed that original so much, they reproduced it for their own pleasure. Now the painting has come down to you through a flea market. I would say it enjoyed a very happy landing.

    1. I've certainly enjoyed the Baby in the Red High Chair since I've had her (him?!) but now I have a burning desire to track down the story behind the original and find out who the artist was. Another perfect example of how much fun flea market shopping can be. Maybe I should track down S.B. Scribner?!

  4. The original Baby in the Red Chair is in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. I saw it in the 1990s when we visited the museum at Williamsburg, and was totally taken by it. My sister-in-law purchased a print of this painting at the time of that visit. It still hangs in her home. I'd say you have a wonderful piece! Someone obviously admired the painting and reproduced it. Looks like they were a talented artist in their own right. Thanks for sharing this story.

    1. Oh, my gosh, thank you so much for the information. I'm not familiar with the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum but will definitely research it now. I should have included in my story the fact that my 'rendition' is an actual oil painting which S.R. Scribner painted while using the original as the study. You've clarified some of the mystery!

  5. I have seen this recently...a fellow painter was painting from this image. He was painting it for his wife. This hung in his home for years, too.

    1. It's so much fun to find out information that applies to my little folk art mystery painting. How funny that I've thought all these years that it was an almost 50 year old original painting when, in fact, it's a 50 year old reproduction of a 200 year old painting. Thanks!