Thursday, August 19, 2010

REDHEAD 1800's Beauty from CHARLESTON, SC Find

I decided to tell you about my redheaded Southern Belle beauty antique oil painting I found outside of Charleston, South Carolina . We took a break from the beach one day and drove towards Charleston, through small towns . My husband was fried like a lobster, I kept applying sunscreen to him and warning him he was getting more toasted...but he is like having another child at the beach and he kept ignoring me. Until the next day when he agreed to stay out of the sun, he was in pain and red.
We drove the 45 minutes towards Charleston from Edisto, and stopped at a small , run down but nice and quirky antique shop on the way. I really did not want to go in, not much interest these days in much, but my husband said let's check it out. As soon as you drive up it looks closed, he doesn't put the lights on in front of the know it reminds me of my grandmother always saying she loved eating out in fancy restaurants with the lights so low you couldn't see your food. but she insisted, " You will be more beautiful ."
I think the shop owner thought his antiques would be more beautiful, or he was saving on the electric bill.
No matter, I could see OK, and I enjoyed walking in from the back and my olfactory senses being seduced with the musty smells of antique furniture and trunks and what-nots.
Then I spotted her--again. A painting that I had kept my eye on for about 4-5 years, first she was up on the wall, then low on the wall, then leaning on a dresser, and now HEAVEN FORBID she was lounging on the FLOOR , where she certainly was going to get stepped on or accidentally knocked over or further scratches were going to grace her.
I am a painting-rescuer by nature, only really GOOD paintings, the junky ones will have to fend for themselves. But she needed me , I had to rescue her. 
I looked over at the proprietor at his desk, he was on the phone, and his shop companion must have been his father, who was quite eccentric...looking away from glances...and he had poured himself a half-liter Diet Dr. Pepper into a 12 cup measuring cup, full of  ice cubes and he was looking at it with mild dis-interest.
I went to the front of the desk and talked to the owner about this lady, he got off the phone and explained she came from a downtown Charleston estate, which I had recalled from the previous years of talking to his sister about it when I looked at this painting many times before.
He started dropping prominent Charlestonian's names like I should be impressed and know who they were. People in historic Southern cities do that all the time. I was impressed, but had no clue except a vague recall of the names he used, The Monteith family or the Wardlaw family, as streets were named after these families in downtown Charleston.
While he was filling me with as much information he knew about his painting he bought at an estate sale, I glanced around the walls...always scouting out for other artwork. Did not see much, but did glance back over at his shop companion who was now sampling his large drink and sipping it gingerly . He had a straw hat on and looked a tad sad.
I then turned back to the proprietor, we haggled a bit about the price , which was very fair in the end..and I rescued my Southern Belle from her antique dusty dungeon.

 I had forgotten that we had only taken the truck to Edisto, and so to bring her back...and she was a large painting, was not an easy task. But walking with her out in my arms, past the delicious musty smells of the store , I knew I would make her fit somehow.

She needed me. 

I listed her on eBay and another art deco wicker hand-painted tray:
 It is harder for me to find antique artwork in the last few years, as ' things'..material objects do not mean as much to me , not all...but real treasures are usually not something you can always put your hands on.
Have a very good day wherever you are,


  1. Gina ~ She is a lovely lady and I'm so glad you were able to rescue her. We've collected a lot of paintings over the years, sold some and live with the rest. We also have an oil painting of DH's maternal great-grandmother hanging in our bedroom. DH and I both love art, impressionist being our favorite style.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. You described antique store sights and smells right to the tee, there's something about them that lures me in every time, too. The oil painting is beautiful, I can see why you wanted to bring her home!

  3. Hello Gina,

    I love your story....I am sure your Southern Belle is grateful that you rescued her.

    PS. Thank you very much for your kind comments on my latest post. I want you to know that you and your family continue to be in my prayers :-)

  4. Hi Gina...nice to hear from you........beutiful storu about southern belle.......wishing you all the best hugs and love Ria..........and prayers darling......

  5. A piece of art can carry all kinds of associated meanings.

    I wonder if you have some kind of feeling for that particular painting, and might be sorry to sell it.

    I couldn't possibly be an antiques dealer. If I found something I liked, I'd want to keep it.

  6. What an awesome find!!! Great Post. I noticed while looking at the picture that her left and right side face are different. And her earrings are different. I didn't notice at first but I looked into her beautiful eyes. I took a piece of paper and folded in half and looked at each side to see the difference, wow, pretty cool. I love art and I love the south!!!! Great find. Sorry about your husband being a Lobster, I can feel the burn...

  7. There is something in the eyes of this Southern Belle that melts my heart. I'm so glad you found it and I'm sure she is in good hands.

  8. Quite a find! Love your descriptive writing!

  9. What a beautiful painting! I'm glad you rescued her, too pretty to be on the floor and risking damage. Whenever I see old paintings or photographs I wonder what the story is behind the person.
    PS I love your description of the shop owner's companion :)

  10. Great find, Gina! Love your wicker too.

  11. Gina, That is a great find! We were in S.C. last November and shoped in Charleston but found it quite expensive. But found a great bench for the garden in lynch field S.C. Thank You for sharing you treasure....Julian


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