When we were cleaning out the attic we uncovered some unexpected treasures! Nothing that we should take to Antique Roadshow, but wonderful reminders of the past. We will keep them and display them in the home once we are finished with the work.
Look at this precious cherub of a child and his bunny! This is in rather distressed condition with scratches and chips, a few repairs, and missing pieces. The painting is not a painting in this format, but a reproduction of a painting by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823), an important and influential Scottish portrait painter. Our piece is a color reproduction on paper. It is a tiny piece; measuring overall about 4 inches in height by 3 inches in width and about 1 inch deep. A rather thick piece of wood for such a diminutive overall size. The picture is pasted onto a slightly smaller piece of wood inset into the frame. The scroll carvings are imperfect enough that this could be hand carved and gilt.
Here is a view of the back so that you can see the separate wooden piece inset into the larger frame. You can also see the remnants of a sticker, too faded and too incomplete for me to make out the words.
Here is a close up of the sticker. Let me know if y’all have ideas!
Our next discovery was this sepia toned portrait photograph of a dapper looking young man, circa 1900. Again, a small piece, measuring about 6 inches high by 4 inches wide. This image is strikingly fresh despite the weathered and damaged material itself. Who was this young man? Did he live in this house? I have no idea. I cannot find any markings or notations and the more I touch the brittle backing, the more it breaks apart, therefore, it will perhaps always be a bit of a mystery. This will be framed and kept as part of the home.
And last but not least, a Spanish Brandy bottle! It is a gorgeous old glass bottle, heavy and wavy and slightly greenish in color. Marques del Real Tesoro Jerez made in Spain. I am not a Brandy drinker, so I do not know much about what this bottle once contained. After a little research, I can tell you that the founding of this company was a rather intriguing one. In 1760 Don Joaquin Manuel de Villena, Lieutenant General of the Royal Spanish Armada (Navy) was appointed by King Carlos III to the new position of Marques del Real Tesoro (Royal Treasurer) after Don Joaquin defeated pirates attacking his fleet which contained treasures in route from South America back to Spain. During the battle, the Spanish fleet ran out of munitions, and Don Joaquin chose to melt down his own silver to use as munitions in order to continue the battle and lead to the ultimate Spanish victory over the pirates. In 1897 Don Joaquin’s grandson, Juan Jacome y Pareja, used his grandfather’s title of Marques del Real Tesoro (officially bestowed upon Juan Jacome y Pareja by King Alfonso III) as the brand name of his bodega. The brand Marques del Real Tesoro is now owned by Jose Estevez (purchased in 1982) under the company name Grupo Estevez. What a fascinating history from such a little bottle! I cannot find a date on our particular bottle, but it is clearly not from some teenage house party in the attic last year. This bottle will likely find a new home on display in our new bar among our many liquor and wine bottles.
It is raining outside. I am going to go snuggle with my babies (including my fur babies Shafer and Sofia!).
Love and hugs,