Antique Painting Lititz, Pa Abraham Beck Moravian Sheep Cows Fine Gold Frame For SaleIMMEDIATE – PROFESSIONALLY PACKED – FULLY INSURED - SHIPPING Buyer pays actual costs of fully insured shipping.Worry not – we are THE pros when it comes to packing safety. All Customs forms will state the actual selling price of items shipped internationally.
Abraham Reinke Beck was born in the town of Lititz in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1833, and Lititz is where he remained until his death at the respectable age of 95. From what I’ve been able to determine, Mr. Beck’s life was one of accomplishment, highlighted by, but certainly not limited to, his devotion to both the Moravian Church and the town of Lititz.
Attesting to the respect he garnered during his full and active life, we find an article published in the Lititz Record Express newspaper published December 12, 1921, the day before his 88th birthday. Excerpted below:
"Grand Old Man - Abraham R. Beck will celebrate his 88th birthday anniversary tomorrow, Friday. Mr. Beck is seen on the street daily enjoying long walks and seldom fails to attend church service. As an educator he became known in a wide circle, having conducted what was known as Beck's Family School of thirty years. The school was discontinued twenty-six years ago, but the name and the influence of the school lives on.
Mr. Beck possesses a clear mind, continuing to keep the Moravian church archives and is an authority on the history of Lititz. Mr. Beck is remarkably versatile. He is a botanist, an ornithologist, writer, musician and artist."
Overall = 30 ¾” by 16 ¾”
Watercolor / Gouache Painting = 16 ¾” by 8 ¼”
Both frame and image have remained in excellent condition.
Mr. Beck signed the painting with a steady hand, placing it modestly among the snow-topped, horseweed, ragweed, and tall grasses near the lower left corner.
Because of the challenges I face as an inept photographer, we’ll revisit the frame and the matting in a few moments. The gold frame is so much nicer than it appears above, and there is even something of historical significance about the matting. I know that sounds a wee bit odd, but it’s true.
Whether it’s true or not; makes no difference really, if ever the artist Abraham Beck is mentioned within earshot of me, I’ll see the image, now implanted in my brain, of this quiet man in a long winter coat, smoking his pipe as he encourages his cattle toward the safety of home.
More images and commentary continue below my three "Prime Directives:"
1st: I never, under any circumstances, use a reserve, and rarely do I ask for an opening offer of more than $9.00 (sometimes even less).
2nd: I never end sales early.
3rd: I don’t usually clean, repair, or otherwise monkey around with anything. I push enough dust aside to expose any flaws, but if I discovered it in some dusty attic, you can look forward to a little dust on it when it gets to your house. If it has a flaw or a wart, I'll tell you about it.
So rest easy and have some fun.
The inner dental-like inner molding is actually a separate piece, set into the rabbet of the gold frame. I’m afraid my image doesn’t show the true bright gold of the oddly patterned frame. (Just thinking aloud for a second: When one walks into a common strip center framing shop today, one sees such a wide variety of choices that the selection of a frame becomes somewhat more than a simple item to check off your “to do” list. Yet, even faced with choosing from the hundreds of framing stock corners hanging on the wall, if it were available, I’d opt for one exactly like the one in which Mr. Beck’s painting now resides. It’s perfect for it.)
Back as seen when I first discovered the painting
Naturally, I had to remove the brown paper, mostly because someone with little talent for such things put it there. That’s when I discovered the remains of not only the original backing paper but also the label of the original framer: “From Sheen & Simpkinson’s Fine Art Store, 168 Race Street (Near Fourth), Cincinnati, O." Now this is where we come to the historical significance of the matting mentioned earlier.
Sheen & Simpkinson’s, noted for their adroitness in the field of framing, especially for important late 19th Century photographers, and primarily because of their ability to neatly miter the corners of matting materials. This in itself is a rather mundane notation I discovered during my research, but the sentence that followed wasn’t. The article mentioned, only as an aside, that the mitering-machine they used was the invention of one of their employees. I wasted quite a bit of time trying to find the name of this mysterious inventor, but I failed to come up with it. Dang it! That sort of thing eats away at what remains of my tiny little reptile brain.
When I ship this charming piece to you, you’ll unwrap it, admire it, and then start looking for a place to show it off. However, there is one thing you should really do first. You should remove the old wooden backing, which I think is not original to the work anyway, and replace it with modern, acid-free stock. I hate to put you to the trouble, but you really should do that as soon as you can.
One thing is absolutely certain . . .
YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
What fun! I even found an old photo of “Beck’s Concert Band” posing in front of the band shell in Lititz Springs Park. (Photograph courtesy of Ron Reedy.) The bandleader is Abraham Beck’s son, Paul, a man who seems to have followed in the footsteps of his father.
Paul designed the band shell, and a plaque is now in place beside it, which reads: "Dedicated to the Memory of Paul E. Beck, 1871-1934, Lititz Bandmaster and Teacher of Music, Art and Literature." Sure enough, The apple seldom falls far from the tree.
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