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Author Topic: old charcoal drawings? Can anyone identify the people  (Read 2242 times)
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tony641
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« on: August 20, 2011, 10:13:32 PM »

I bought these today at a yard sale.  The lady who was selling them said that she purchased a picture a couple years ago, also at a yard sale.  She was going to put the picture in a new frame and these were behind it.  It's hard to tell from the pictures but they are about 20" by 16".  The paper they are on is more like a thin cardboard or something.  I don't know if it is from the person who drew these but it looks like the name Kelly on the back.  On the one of the older guy the back has ehat looks like Kell and maybe the "y" under this.  I'll get a picture and post it later.  If anyone has any idea who these people are (if they are even real people) and maybe when they may have been made.  Think they might be worth anything? I can take pictures of the entire drawing if needed, these are closeups.

   
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tony641
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 10:30:10 PM »

Here is the writing on back of the drawings.  The first one is on back of the guy with no beard.  It looks to be in pencil.  The writing on back of the bearded guy looks to be in charcoal or whatever the picture was drawn in.

 
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cogar
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 08:49:18 AM »

Given that they are  about 20" by 16" and done in charcoal …… my guess is they were “enlargements” that were done by an artist using a photograph of the person. This was a common practice during the late 1800’s – early 1900’s where the person or a relative would mail the photograph to a “studio” and the artist would create the larger picture and mail it back to whoever “ordered it”, …… for a fee of course.

Tony, check this thread out - OLD PHOTO OR CHARCOAL?
http://www.antique-shop.com/forums/index.php?topic=5723.msg18307;topicseen#msg18307
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talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2011, 02:18:54 PM »

I absolutely LOVE the one of the bearded man! How cool that they were discovered behind a painting? You might want to talk to the garage sale seller, and try to find the family who accidently sold them, they might really like to have them back and could possibly tell you who these men were. As they stand now, their history is unknown and you could do these guys a big favor if you were able to reunite them with their family history. It sounds like it could be a wonderful, rewarding adventure.

The style of the mans beard looks very Civil War era to me, which would be typical of a middle-age/older man, keeping what was in style when he was young and is comfortable with. The chair he is sitting in is Eastlake, which was very popular in the end of the 19th century. I think this is going to date to about 1880-ish.
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talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2011, 02:24:03 PM »

One additional thing to consider, if you can connect the bearded guy to his family history and if he turns out to have served in the Civil War, you can look up his military history online and that adds value to the drawing.
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tony641
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2011, 04:56:45 PM »

I talked to the woman I bought these from and she is going to try and remember where it was she purchased the painting they were behind.  She said it was a couple years ago and at a yard sale.  It sounds like she frequents them also so was not sure where she got it.  I'm going to get in touch with the local historical society and see if maybe they know who these men might be. 
 
The edges of these are really warn and some of the corners are very cracked.  They have just been sitting out for a while now.  Any idea how I preserve them?  Can I just put them in frames or will it cause problems for the picture if it is up against glass?  These are the first paintings/drawings I have purchased.  I really have no specific thing I collect. I just buy things from time to time that catch my eye.  These caught my attention right away.  I think they are the neatest think I have purchased. 
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mart
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2011, 06:25:26 PM »

If there is a frame shop near you or art gallery or even a hobby shop,, you can purchase acid free paper or inexpensive art board which is a little thicker. Get three pieces and layer each between them and store flat.  16X20 is a standard size and has been for years so it should not be difficult to find !! Its called canvas board is about $8.00 for two and has a canvas like texture.  Get the cheaper brand as it is fine for your purpose !! Just take care when looking at them and lift straight up on whatever you use. Don`t slide anything across the surface of the artwork !! 
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talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2011, 10:27:42 PM »

That is great that you are trying to connect these men's portraits with their history. So often people forget that people in the past were real people, just like us. They think of them in terms of what is left behind- the tumbled gravestone, the broken chair or the old portrait and forget that these are the artifacts of real people who lived just as we are living now. We all want to be remembered after we are gone. I'm sure they would be pleased by what you are doing. Kudos to you! Please keep us posted on how your search goes!
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KC
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 03:30:55 PM »

Great advice from the gang!

Nice pics!  Love the older ones.  HOWEVER, the chair that the guy with the paper is sitting in looks REAL interesting.
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tony641
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 08:53:23 PM »

Thanks everyone for the info and comments.  I didn't get done with work until late today then took a ride on the boat.  Hope to get frames tomorrow and stop to see if the woman I got the pictures from has any more info for me.  I'll keep you all posted.  Thanks again.
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tony641
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 11:13:59 PM »

Just an update. 

I brought the pictures to the historical society but they could not identify either of them men.  They said that the picture of the non bearded man looked familiar.  The only problem was that the photo they thought looked like him was in the basement and they didn't have a name for him.  They were not even sure it was the same guy. 

I have not had contact with the woman I got them from.  if nothing else I hope to be allowed to take a photo of the painting she had that these were behind to see if anyone has an idea where it is from. 

Anyone have any other suggestions.  I bought some cheep frames from walmart to keep them in. Hope that will keep them safe Turns out the paper (or cardboard) was a bit bigger than I thought.  It was a couple inches bigger on both sides and top. 

Hope I have more information soon.
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talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2011, 02:38:54 AM »

The frames matter less than the cardboard backing. That needs to be acid-free. All the frames carried by Aaron Bros and most other framing stores should have acid-free backing. You can also get them on Ebay if you search for acid-free, but the stuff at Walmart, unless it is labled as acid-free, would not be and is not good to be against the paper of your pieces.
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bob535
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2011, 02:55:14 PM »


I found this site, about a charcoal artist named Kelly....but there were a few...this one stands out to me because the signature on your drawings almost match the font of the web page title perfectly....the K to be specific.

http://www.theartistoflife.com/charcoal.html
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mart
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2011, 05:57:32 PM »

It is similar but these pics are much older than his work !!
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tony641
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2011, 06:14:49 PM »

Thanks again for all the info.  I'm going to email the Kelly in the website and see if by chance she can point me in any direction.

I made it to the art gallery today and picked up the acid free backing.  I know this next question I'm going to ask is more of just a preference but here goes anyways.  While I was at the art gallery I checked prices on some better frames for these pictures.  It's going to cost about $120 each to have them framed.  What do you all think, are they worth it.  I think they are very cool but not sure if I want to spend almost $250 on frames for pictures that are not worth that much (I really have no idea what they are worth).  Should I go ahead and come up with the cash and have them framed or are the walmart ones good enough.  I'll post a picture of them in the cheep frames in a little bit.

Thanks again.
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