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.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Meeks basin stand

A good friend stopped me from making a big mistake and selling this marble top basin stand.  He recognized it as by Meeks. 

It looks good surrounded by the rosewood chairs from the Marion sale last spring.  I also bought some lustres and Old Paris and other vases and had no where to put them so they are there for now.

The carving on the inside of the upper leg is a Meeks characteristic.  Some of the Old South big name furniture makers include Meeks, Belter, Prudent Mallard of New Orleans,  and Mitchell and Rammelsberg of Cincinnati (they made the furniture in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House).  I also love all the parlor sets made by John Jelliff.

I am looking for correct casters to elevate the table. The caster marks are under the feet. That seems like a small thing but will make a very big difference once they are restored. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I purchased this colorized photograph from an auction house in Florida. I was drawn to her and her great beauty.   She measures 21" x  26"

My grandmother's grandmother was a North Georgia Cherokee.  Much of her family eventually ended up in Oklahoma.  I wonder if there are people who can view a photograph such as this and identify the tribe/nation to whom she most likely belongs. 


"THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS"   5" x 13"  I purchased this from Echoes Antiques in Seaford, N.Y.  

The decal is from the painting by Pompeo Batoni in 1773. 


I just purchased this from Selkirk of St. Louis, Mo. Twentieth century. Figural and floral decorated. h.13.5"

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Portrait oil on canvas young man original frame

American School (19th Century), oil on canvas, Portrait of Young Man Holding Book, 35" x 27" canvas, 43" x 35" overall.   He arrived two days ago.

He will be for sale in my booth in Marion.  He is in a large and almost perfect wood/gesso frame.  $600.00

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Evalina L. Crapster

Back of painting:   Armstrong,  Painter,  Lancaster,  1833.

( Arthur Armstrong was a portrait painter whose studio was in Lancaster, PA  )

Back of painting also has a note in the upper left corner and 
I was able to read the inscription :

"Mr. Hugh Shaw left Taneytown Sept 1845 for to do business in City of Baltimore...
This likeness presented to Dr. O'Neal by his Ma,  E. L. Shaw.

The painting is of Evalina L. Crapster O'Neal Shaw

Daughter of John Crapster ( 1761-1824) and wife Susanna Klein  ( 1766-1855) 

1st husband Walter O'Neal whom she married in Frederick Co. Maryland 17 January 1820

Their son is Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal who was famous due to his records kept of the dead boys at the battle of Gettysburg. He was born 21 April 1821. 
Walter O'Neal died 27 June 1827. 
Evalina then married  her 2nd husband : Hugh Shaw of Taneytown, Maryland   ( 1806-1865 )

They are indeed on the 1850 census of Baltimore, Maryland. His occupation is "merchant"  

Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal's death certificate states he was born 21 April 1821.  Occupation: Medical  Doctor. Born in Va. 
Father: Walter O'Neal  born VA   Mother:  Evalina Crapster  born  Maryland.  Informant: Virginia O'Neal Huddle of Gettysburg, Pa.
Died 24 April 1913.  Attending physician:  Dr. Walter H O'Neal of Gettysburg Pa. ( son ) 

Evalina and her 2nd husband Hugh Shaw are buried with tombstones at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Hanover, York County, Penn. 

Hugh Shaw 15 Feb 1806 -   23 May 1865. 
Evalina L. Shaw  22 Dec 1801 -  29 May 1883.

Mr. Armstrong painted Evalina in 1833.  She was born 1801 so she is about 32 in the painting.