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silla was born out of a passion for beautiful objects: special pieces with aesthetic and historical significance. In 2009, after years of collecting, Andrew Silla and his wife Grace began to work privately with clients from their residence in Southern Maryland. Quickly outgrowing the space, the business was moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania in 2012 and after several warehouse location changes it was firmly settled in the present brick-and-mortar location in downtown Shippensburg.

The 9000 square foot brick-and-mortar gallery is home to a large collection of works of art and estate jewelry. We specialize in sculpture circa 1860 through 1930 with a particular emphasis on the Animaliers and as such the gallery always has a very large collection of exceptional European and American sculpture available on display.

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Still-Life of Six Peaches in a Bowl | Morston C. Ream

Ream, Morston C.

Regular Price: $7,800.00
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catalog text

United States, 1840-1898

Still Life of Six Peaches in a Porcelain and Glass Bowl with a Knife

Oil on canvas | unsigned | circa 1880

Item # 403EDF06S 

An exquisite still-life rich with texture, color and brilliant use of light. This tranquil scene features six peaches in a beautifully decorated ceramic bowl with a translucent glass rim resting on a table covered in two layers of cloths. The first has a a pearl color with a greek-key border, overall having a silky sheen and a chaotic fringe edge; the second is a green fabric with geometric patterns. Along the side of the bowl is situated a pearl handled bread knife, something of a hallmark for Morston Ream, as he used several styles of pearl-handled knives in almost this exact orientation for several of his paintings. For a nearly identical knife and placement, see Christie's, New York, 3 March 2011, lot 76 ("Fine American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture"), 10" x 11 3/4", achieved $ 8750. Another example with identical angling of the knife sold at Doyle, New York, 2 November 2021, lot 71 [achieved $ 4250].

A solitary bead drips from the center peach as a fly stands perched at the top.

The work is unsigned, but is without any question the work of Ream. It likely dates between 1880 and 1888, as the original frame had a label on it from Thomas A. Wilmurt, a well-established framing and looking glass company in New York City that moved to its 54 East 13th Street premises noted on the label around 1880. Images of that label and the original frame from when this painting was offered at Tremont Auctions of Sudbury, Massachusetts (lot 209, 25 April 2021) will be included with the information packet our gallery provides.

Born in Lancaster, Ohio in 1840, Morston Constantine Ream was the younger brother of Carducius Plantagenet Ream (American, 1837-1917), an artist who became at least as famous as Morston for his brilliant fruit pictures. Morston began painting in the late 1860s, leaving his career as a daguerreotypist for fear it was damaging to his health. He exhibited extensively, his first exhibit recorded at the National Academy in 1872 while he was living at 56 Bank Street in the west part of Greenich Village in New York City. He listed his address at Union Square in Philadelphia from 1876 through 1882 when he listed his address as 862 Broadway. He began sending paintings to the exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1888, then listing his address as 1244 Broadway in New York City, but by 1896 he had moved to Chicago to live at 558 50th Street. He actively sent paintings to the major exhibitions, regularly exhibiting at the National Academy from 1872 through 1883, sending paintings to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1876 and 1881, as well as exhibiting at Moore’s Art Rooms and the Brooklyn Art Association. He died in 1898 at 58 years of age in New York City.

Similar market examples:

  • Still Life with Grapes and Plums, Sotheby's, New York, 13 September 2006, lot 186, achieved $ 6600 USD [12" x 15 3/8"]
  • Still Life of Fruit and Wine, Phillips, New York, 30 October 2003, lot 28, achieved $ 18,000 [12" x 16 1/8"]
  • Still Life with Wine Glass, Fruit and Nuts, Skinner, 22 September 2000, lot 289, achieved $ 5750 [8 1/2" x 6 1/2"]
  • The Dessert Table, Christie's, New York, 30 November 1990, lot 43, achieved $ 16,500 [26" x 32"]
  • Still Life with Glass of Wine, a Knife and Fruit, New York, 30 September 1997, achieved $ 8625 [12" x 16"]
  • Still Life with Grapes, Peach, Plum, Apple and Glass of Wine, New York, 28 November 1995, achieved $ 11,500, [12" x 10"]

Artist Listings & Bibliography:

  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. XI, Gründ, 2006, p. 746
  • Exhibition of the National Academy, 1861-1900, Vol. II, Naylor, p. 771-772
  • The Annual Exhibition Record of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1876-1913, Falk, 1989, p.397
  • The Annual Exhibition Record of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1888-1950, Falk, 1990, p. 736

Measurements: 11 5/8" H x 15 5/8" W x 7/8" D [frame liner]; 10 1/8" H x 14 1/4" W [canvas]

Condition Report:
Restored by our conservator [removed discolored varnish, cleaned surface grime, sealed in preliminary varnish layer, treated losses with a very light inpaint to the overcleaned portion of the painting, replaced missing key, keyed out canvas for a tight presentation, sealed in traditional damar varnish]; moderate craquleure to the lower left corner; under ultra violet examination: the surface is largely obscured by later applications of varnish, inpainting present to the left of the leftmost peach, a few spots of retouch to the lower left corner in the fabric and in the craquelure lower left; some thinness to the pearl colored cloth and associated inpaintings (note the reddish hue coming through); edge touchups around all sides where the frame rubs; spot of inpaint to the lower right corner where the fabric lost some of its texture and color; paint is a bit thin around the plinth of the bowl; the painting is in its original giltwood liner, but the frame is absent - our information packet on the painting will include photographs of the original frame including close up images of the framer's label. A very fine presentation, ready to place.