Friday, December 1, 2017

Tietjen's Pet - A Smokin' Bulldog

Tietjen's Pet

This is a commissioned piece from a long-time patron, who first purchased a piece of my art during the Western Heritage Artist's show and Sale six years ago. The name will be familiar to a number of artists that belong to the organization, as Beverly Tietjen was a founding member of the WHA.

By 1895, there were over 42,000 cigar companies in the U.S. Many, like Mr. Tietjen, sold various brands of cigars and tobacco products, but they also manufactured their own. Because of strict regulation of sales by the government, retail outlets could only purchase cigars by the box, and once the box was empty, they had to order a new box. The artwork is phenomenal, and the means by which it is produced is phenomenal as well. There is quite a collectible market for cigar labels - Charlie Russell had his own, and even promoted them in some of his art.

Original document

The above image is what the document looked like before I began to abuse it, somewhat. The erasures and line removes on most of this old paper that I encounter is excellent paper, and stands up to my abuse fairly well. There was a spindle hole on this one, but I'm really uncertain as to why. The pencil can be read, and he signed it in pencil as well, but I am having a hard time determining just exactly what he was seeking from Bateman & Switzer, to whom the note is addressed.

I could do cigar labels until the cows come home, but this one was a pleasure, as it came from my head, and the bulldog is from a brand called Bulldog. So - I copied it. When an original gets copied, it's a sign that the original was well done.

Monday, November 27, 2017

J. D. Eastman, Oregon Grape Root Bitters

A Montana Union Railway Bill of Lading

J. D. Eastman of Deer Lodge, Montana Territory, was granted a patent for Oregon Grape Root Bitters in 1886. He sold out to a fellow by the name of J. H. Owings in 1887, as I have  a piece of Owings letterhead dated April 18th of that year. A fascinating letterhead depicting an Oregon Grape leaf:

J. H. Owings letterhead

This is a commissioned piece by a patron who first purchased a National Biscuit Company piece of paper on which I pictured the Uneeda Biscuit Boy back in 2012.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mule Train Bill of Lading

B. F. White Bill of Lading
July 28th, 1879

A Mule train of freight wagons from Terminus, (now Dillon), to Virginia City, Montana Territory, the freight being carried to Terminus by narrow gauge Utah & Northern Railroad from Corrine, Utah.

From the Beaverhead County Museum we copied the following: Richard Deacon resisted the railroad when an attempt was made to cross his ranch. To overcome this obstacle, a group of enterprising businessmen purchased the lands of Richard Deacon and gave the railroad company the right-of-way. It was a prompt and satisfactory manner of handling a difficult situation. It also led to the formation of a townsite company and the town of Dillon began its interesting history. This land was purchased Sept. 14, 1880, from Deacon, by a group of merchants headed by Howard Sebree, for the sum of $10,500. There were 480 acres in the piece of land purchased. A company was formed by L. J. Ruth, Sim Estes, L. C. Fyhrie, B. F. White, Charles Lefevre, Wilden Pinkham, E. M. Ratcliffe, Sebree, Ferris & Holt, George Smith & Co. 

I'm hoping this piece of Montana history will pull a load of art freight for me...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Yemassee Pure Rye Whiskey

Bateman & Switzer

The document is a letter from Dan Sullivan on his letterhead, to Bateman & Switzer, a Great Falls, Montana business that provided Wine, Liquor, Cigars and Billiard supplies to a great deal of Montana saloons and bars. The letter is dated July 9, 1904. The little vignette in the upper left hand corner is fascinating to me.

The bottle itself is a dug bottle from Unionville, a small mining community near Helena. It was given to me by a fellow here in town - a patron, actually. I used this bottle in November of 2011, and posted it HERE.

A month ago, I removed the Last Chance Whiskey label that was affixed to the bottle, and glued a good copy of a Yemassee label which I obtained from a bottle collector in Bozeman. I then had a Vietnam veteran friend of mine take a photograph of the bottle with whiskey in it. I worked from his photograph with his permission. I was told yesterday of a different Bateman & Switzer label with a different Indian depicted. I love these labels! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Thank You Returns

I've been 'under the gun' to get art work completed for the Western Heritage Artists Show and Sale which opens on the 15th of March in Great Falls, but I also owed a Thank You to a patron. I completed a Harley motorcycle image for her in January, and simply had not had the chance to thank her for her purchase.

Yesterday, I received the card back as NOT DELIVERABLE. If I could show you the entire address line, which I won't, it can clearly be read by anyone who can actually READ. I suspect a machine could not read it, so therefore it was kicked back to me. I'm not at all happy.

It is now going back to the post office, and I will get an explanation for this 'human' error, because I can't accept this ridiculous rejection.

Monday, March 6, 2017

U. S. Licensed Trader, Browning, Montana

This illustration is from a letter to Judge Charles N. Pray who was the U. S. Representative from Montana, 1907 to 1913. Charlie thanked the Judge belatedly for a box of books the judge had given to Charlie, but the box contained no information about who or where they came from. Charlie did not discover the fact the judge had sent it until 1914. I greatly admired Charlie's control of the English language, and this is not a 'finished' piece of art. The image below is a scan from the Russell Museum book of Charlie's illustrated letters.