Friday, November 13, 2015

Who Is This Man??

It happened again! Pretty much just like before. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, click HERE to read about the first time. So here's how it played out the past two days, this time on my side of the family.

See this pretty picture frame?

It's an old one that came to me when my sisters and I emptied our parents' house last year.

It hung in the dining room, over the buffet, for as long as I can remember, and probably longer. As far as I knew, it always held this Currier & Ives scene.

This is actually a piece of heavy fabric. I decided to replace it with one of my photographs, so I took it to the framer's to have it put together properly. These big old frames are so heavy, and I wanted to make sure it was hanging securely on the wall. I dropped it off yesterday morning, shopped til I almost dropped, and picked it up before heading home. Sure enough, along with the frame, which now contained my pretty photo, there was this cardboard folder containing the Currier & Ives scene.

I loaded both in the car for the drive home. It was dark when I arrived, I was tired, and we had an overnight guest that needed supper. Consequently, the frame and cardboard folder lay unattended until this morning. I unwrapped the frame and tried to hang it, but it was too heavy to manage by myself, So I turned my attention to the folder, thinking about what to do with the fabric scene. After pulling it out and looking it over for a minute or two, I turned it over. The fabric had been stretched around something and taped with masking tape, which was coming loose in several places. No wonder; it had been there for decades.

Supposing that the fabric had been stretched around some kind of sturdy paper, I investigated a little further, pulling the tape completely loose on one side. I wondered if there was something on the other side of "paper" form.

Sure enough, there were two pieces of I removed the fabric to find this familiar print.

I've seen this image many times. It must have been very popular in its day. I'm guessing this one came off an old calendar. But underneath it was the real treasure!

Another old portrait! The only thing is, I have no idea who this is! And alas, Mom and Dad are no longer here to ask. To my knowledge, he doesn't resemble anyone on either side of my family. Several years before her health declined, my mother put together an inventory of the antiques and heirlooms in the house, and the entry for the picture frame didn't shed any light on this man's identity:

Since my grandfather bought the frame, it could be that this portrait came with it. If so, that would explain why Mom covered it up.

It's a shame there was no name on it anywhere, just a few numbers on the back:

Unless one of my two aunts knows something about this, I guess this handsome gentleman will remain a mystery. But what fun to discover another old portrait! You just never know what could be hiding behind a picture.  Maybe you should go check your old frames...


  1. Treasures under treasures under treasures. What a neat find. And, a beautiful frame.

  2. That is so cool. I love this story of unveiling these 2 'treasures'. I know my mother marked a lot of her heirlooms or told me about them too. I have an old frame that has a mirror in it but she told me there is a print under the mirror if you should even want to change it. I took it apart once and found the aging black and white floral print but kept the mirror in the frame (with the print under it). Another old frame had a calendar picture in it that was tattered so I took it apart and found and old lithograph of a sleeping child. It is beautiful but it looks like the child is dead as there is a sprig of flower on the pillow beside her. Well, I can't put that one up as it's just too sad looking. :) Would you display that one if it was yours? Your Currier and Ives fabric is probably collectible and it's quite a pretty scene. What did you do with the man? And what did you put in that beautiful frame? Thanks for sharing this. Have a great weekend.

  3. Looks like President McKinley.

  4. You need to continue to have all your old frames re-done. There must be a pot of gold awaiting you!

  5. Wonderful find! A beautiful frame, too. I hope the mystery is solved for you!

  6. Well, that is one gorgeous frame, Nancy. Good luck trying to identify the mystery man!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate your time and hope you found a blessing at This Sweet Life!