Life in Old South Central Alabama

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South of Birmingham, Alabama, United States
I am an antique trader in central Alabama....I love old houses... My log home was built in 1817 by my ancestors Benjamin and Hannah Harless Wilson .............. Outside the house are herb gardens and lots of pass-along plants................ No one in Alabama is in a hurry about anything......... Visitors think that the garden needs weeding and the furniture needs polishing....I am a direct descendant of Joseph Towne, whose two sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 as witches. I am also a direct descendant of Pocahontas and husband John Rolfe.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Polly Hamlin Beals age 54

Here is the portrait of Polly Hamlin Beals wife of Ezra Beals.  She was born 4 October 1785. She lived in Norfolk, Massachusetts. 

Her portrait measures 25 x 30 and is somewhat cracked and crazed with varnish. The auction house pointed this out to me before I placed a bid, but that was an aspect of the portrait that appealed to me. 

The portrait has also been strip lined ( see the new canvas around the perimeter) due to age. This was sold by a Massachusetts auction house, and she is very New England.  I thought she was holding her bible, but it is a little box with her name on it and the name of the portrait artist which I have yet to decipher.  I am also looking on Find A Grave for her tombstone or burial location for herself or her husband ( so I can post her portrait there ) but so far no luck. 
  According to the ancestry site, she should have many descendants today.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Salem Witches, Primitives, House Tour, Library: Hello from Alabama !

Every Halloween I think about my Massachusetts witch chair.

Wallace Nutting called these mushroom chairs because of the arms.

My ancestor Joseph Towne of Salem, Massachusetts lost two sisters-- Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty-- to the Salem witchcraft hysteria of 1692.  His sister Sarah Towne Cloye escaped hanging when the trials were ended. 

This style of chair was popular from about 1680 to 1710 so it is considered to be Pilgrim Century.

The left top seems polished from 300+ years of use.

The right side top has felt more wear and is almost flat.

My silhouette/portrait collection has grown a bit.

This was that ugly bright green pie safe shown in one of my earlier posts.  I knew mahogany was waiting underneath somewhere.  I did leave some of the white and a touch of green on the tin. 

My poor camera skills can't make a room thirty feet long look anything but cramped.

I'm using pews for couches. No one sits in there but myself anyway.

I gathered boxes and stacked them between the windows. They are on a Pennsylvania bucket bench.

Here is Mercy Hurd ( 1600-1693) whose painting was hidden for over 100 years in some attic in New England.

They tell me the red ware bowl is a cooling bowl for milk.

Dough bowls in a mule chest. No fakes. No repros. No imports.

The round ones are stacked in the corner cabinet. The blue plate on the left is Canton.  The blue plate on the right is "The fisherman's return." 

One corner of my library. I am redoing this room now. I have books scattered and stacked in every room in the house.  There is going to be a gathering soon and very soon. 

I have to hide the fru-fru stuff in the library room away from the primitives. See the Bristol lusters?  I have to hang the prisms on them.  The pair of Old Paris vases need to be beside each other.  The R.S. Prussia is hiding. The Armand Marseille doll heads need kid bodies.  The porcelain gentleman on the left can barely see his lady on the right.

My great great grandmother was 100% Old South so she approves of such surroundings. 

I like these ca. 1900 rocking horses but I hope to find one on rockers like the ones on old Christmas cards. 

I pointed the camera up in my galley kitchen. This mess is stacked from the top of the refrigerator to the ceiling. There is a chicken coop behind the Phillip Morris sign. Yes, that is an 1840 painting hanging in the kitchen. Nowhere else to put him now.