Monday, July 13, 2015

Ruddy Duck, 2015



This is my Federal Duck cover for the 2015 Federal Duck stamp. The cost of the stamp went from $15 to $25 this year, but that didn't deter me. It is also the 25th Duck stamp issue I've done.

For a number of years now, the USFS has provided two different formats for the Duck stamp, both lick-and-stick and self-adhesive. I ordered the number that I needed in early June, and they were waiting for me at the Last Chance Station post office on June 26th, which was the earliest I could have them and was the First Day they were available nationwide. An error in filling my order presented me with a wild sight when I opened my package: Instead of sending me nine of the lick-and-stick stamps, the USPS sent me NINE sheets, each sheet containing twenty stamps. In other words, I had $4,500 worth of stamps instead of $225. I'd never seen so many Duck Stamps in one place at one time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Indian Scout, 1928


I used an image of a 1928 Indian Scout from a full page ad for the Indian Motocycle Company in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a model for this piece of billhead. It is the third piece that I have done on paper from Curnow the Indian, In Butte, Montana. 

Michael Curnow opened a bicycle shop in Butte, Montana, at 205 South Montana Street in late 1908. I know that because the 1908 Polk's City Directory for Butte has no listing for him, whereas the 1909 directory does have a single line listing for him. In 1911 he became the Indian Motocycle dealer, and by 1913 he must have had a fairly decent business because he purchased a quarter page advertisement in the directory. I would dearly love to find a photograph of him, but so far I've come up empty.

This piece was done as a commission, so it is headed for its new home as soon as that can be arranged. If you look at the labels on the right side of my home page for Old Paper Art, you will see a label for Indian. There are now ten Indian Motocycle related posts.

UPDATE: Marianne Dow just posted a PHOTOGRAPH of Curnow which she found in Motorcycle Illustrated Magazine, so I'm posting the link to the photograph right here

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Out Of The Box


A billhead from the Fulton Market in Butte, Montana, dated the 26th of January, 1904. One dozen quail, as ordered.



This is what the document looked like before I decided to embellish it with my art work.
The text reads "Quail scarce - hard to get at any price. Can you use Finnan Haddies at 12 1/2 4 ??? choice stock". 
 ECM

Finnan Haddies or Haddie is cold smoked Haddock, and I suppose you could consider it an imported table delicacy, although I seriously doubt it was imported.


This is the box top I found for the image I used as a model for the art work. I will include a copy of the original document with the finished piece when it finds a new home.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Brownie Number 1 - I Shutter


A very significant piece of old paper from the ledger of C. W. Rank & Company in Virginia City, Montana. Water stained on the edges, chipped on the upper edge, and toning all around. Am I happy I found it? Yes, yes I am.

As can be seen in the lower section, the invoice is dated April 15, 1901. This date is significant not because it's the date our income taxes come due (income tax would not be a burden for another twelve years), but because by October of 1901, the Brownie Number 1 camera would be discontinued. George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, began selling the Brownie Number 1 in 1900 for the princely (not really) sum of ONE DOLLAR. Of course C. W. Rank got a discount of 33%, which brought his cost to only fifty cents, since his was a retail establishment. Probably a good move on C. W. Rank's part to turn around and sell this one camera, and order a few more.

For those of you interested in the history of the Brownie Camera, I urge you to visit a page devoted to all things Brownie Camera related, called The Brownie Camera Page. I decided a long time ago that if I ever found any Kodak paper that was of the right period for a Palmer Cox Brownie, I knew what was going to end up on it.

George Eastman was a marketing genius, and because this camera is considered to be the most significant camera in the history of cameras, he chose to team up with Palmer Cox. It was a good move. Children (and adults) at the turn of the century were well aware of the Brownies, and there was never a better way to encourage the sale of cameras to the common folk than Brownies.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Irish Jig on a Pig


Hams. This Irish Brownie is hamming it up. A little history is in order, and for the record, I have several more pieces of this Swift & Company paper that will hopefully keep me high on the hog for awhile.

Simeon R. Buford drove an ox team to Virginia City, Montana Territory, in 1865 at the ripe old age of nineteen. He started a freight business on a route from Fort Benton to Virginia City. When the Union Pacific Railroad reached Corrine, Utah Territory, he began hauling freight from Corrine to Virginia City, as the railroad was a more reliable source of transportation that the steamboat.

In 1878 he opened a mercantile business in partnership with Henry Elling, and built the largest mercantile business in Montana in 1900. This billhead is for hams - $20.00 worth. Swift & Company had a Butte processing plant, and I'm assuming that the ham was transported to Virginia City by freight wagon.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Footprints Success


I had eleven Thank You cards to send after the Western Heritage Artists Footprints on the Trail Art Show and Sale this year. This first one was not a sale, but a gift. These folks bought the very first piece of old paper that I framed up and sold off the wall at an antique show here in Helena. They've been patrons ever since. They came to my room this year and gave me a color proof sheet from the second printing of "Good Medicine", which was a compilation of illustrated letters and envelopes by Charlie Russell. The proof sheet is old and brittle and stained in a couple of places, but it is like gold to me.


The second is to the patron who purchased My Brownie Baking Company piece which I did for the Quick Finish on Thursday evening, and a fun piece it was! He wanted the Chocolate as much as Uncle Sam did.


The third is to the patron who purchased My Breakfast Brownie piece on Saturday evening at the Art for Causes Quick Finish and Auction. And a lively auction it was! Our primary cause this year was Breast Cancer Awareness and we raised over $11,000.

To call this year's show a success is an understatement. And to top it all off, we welcomed a new grandchild to the family at 11:00 AM on Sunday, the last day of the show. Her name is Celine.