By mwilcox


Every now and again in the Antique business one will come across original art which is neither an oil or watercolor. Generally it will be under glass and mounted much like a print, but resembles a watercolor in its muted colors. More than one novice collector has called me in panic because they purchased such a piece, attempted to put it in a better frame and found they smudged it when handling it. This odd item is what's called a "Pastel" , which is almost a form of chalk painting.

One of the largest producers of pastels was William Henry Chandler, born on June 9, 1854, in New York City. His working life started as a cameo engraver in a button factory, but his art output didn’t start in earnest until 1887 when he partnered with his brother, Frank Chandler (1857-1912), to create the label of “W. H. Chandler and Co.” in New York City’s lower Manhattan. Unlike other forms of inexpensive Decorator Art the Chandler pieces were all legitimate works of art and not mass produced prints.

The majority of Chandler’s company’s output were landscapes and Still-life images of fruit bowls or hanging wild game. The least common and most sought after today being the Seascapes. Chandler operated the company until his death on Feb. 26, 1928. Currently at auction comparable Chandler landscapes to this one in a good frame now sell in the $350.00-$500.00 range .