This very large frame is in the style of the carving done in Frisia, along the coasts of The Netherlands and Germany. Commonly referred to as chip carving, it tended to be done in the wintertime, when little fishing or farming was done. The variety of geometric patterns and the skill shown in the carving is very beautiful. The art of chip carving went hand in hand with the art of Hindeloopen, a style of Dutch floral folk painting (and also the name of a village in Friesland). Both the carving and the painting techniques were brought to America by immigrants.
The pen and ink and watercolor painting has the stylized motifs of tulips, trumpet vines and birds of Pennsylvania Dutch works; they surround the boy and girl with their nosegays and fancy clothes. There’s a caged bird between them and a large heart beneath. The painting is signed lower right by a man named Don Tesla (or something similar…we’ve not been able to identify this artist). It bears a real similarity, whether or not intentional, to painted items by folk artist Peter Ompir.
We’re unsure if the painting is original to the frame, as there is evidence of a prior backing that was removed at some point in the past. The present backing is an old panel of wood and because it is causing foxing on the painting, we would strongly recommend that it be backed with archival, acid free materials (this is inexpensive to do and will prolong the life of the painting.) We have left it in its original “as found” state. The frame measures approximately 16 inches by 21 inches, with the rabbeted opening measuring 12 by 17 and it weighs almost 3 1/2 pounds. There is an old screw eye on the back for hanging and the glass is intact and unscratched.
The frame is in wonderful condition, with no damage whatsoever and just slight separating of the upper and lower left corners. The painting, as we mentioned above, has some foxing but despite that, it is lovely.
This is a wonderful one of a kind piece of folk art for the discerning collector.