Lot 302    

Portrait of "Mayme" Bull Within River Landscape by Paul Sawyier,
Summer Fine and Decorative Art Auction / June 6, 2009
watercolor on paper, initialed in the lower left. This wonderfully intimate portrait of "Mayme" Bull, set in a river landscape, appears almost to be an escape for the couple, and certainly for Sawyier, who found comfort in Kentucky quiet rivers and creeks. It is interesting to note that the piece was only initialed, atypical of Sawyier, but probably because of the nature of the painting. it was almost certainly a gift to the artist's lover; 13" high x 9" wide (sight).

Accompanied with the painting are "Mayme" Bull's monogrammed gold bracelet and a pair of photographs, in which the resemblance is unmistakable.


Provenance:  
Descended directly in the family of Mayme Bull


Condition:  


Cowan's is pleased to offer the following important collection of paintings by artist Paul Sawyier. The five Sawyier paintings offered here were originally owned by Mayme Bull (presumably gifts from Sawyier), and descended in the Bull family to Mayme's niece, Elizabeth Bull Howard (likely through Mayme's sisters). The paintings were bequeathed to the current owner, a close friend of Elizabeth's.

Paul Sawyier (1865-1917) was born the son of a physician in Madison County, Ohio, but his family relocated to Frankfort, Kentucky when he was young. Paul’s early inclinations towards art were cultivated by his parents, and in 1884 Sawyier enrolled in the Cincinnati Art School. Within two years, he opened a studio in Cincinnati. In New York, Sawyier studied under William Merritt Chase at the Art Students League. Sawyier returned to Cincinnati and studied under Frank Duveneck. He then returned to Frankfort where local subjects became his focus, and it was here he developed his particular aptitude for watercolor. Between 1908 and 1913, Sawyier spent several years living on a houseboat on the Kentucky River painting his surroundings. At the 1893 Columbian Exposition Sawyier and his work achieved a level of popularity, and he, unlike most of his Kentucky contemporaries, embraced Impressionism. Proud of his status as a professional artist, Sawyier generally refused to engage in other pursuits even when money was short (which it often was). In 1913, Sawyier relocated to Brooklyn, New York, living with his widowed sister. Years later, he moved to the Catskill Mountains where he died in 1917.

Paul Sawyier first met Mary "Mayme" Bull (1865-1914), also of Frankfort in 1887,. While the two became engaged, they never married (a result of their caring for their aging and ailing parents and Sawyier's constant financial instability). Little is known of their relation because Sawyier's sister burned all of the couple's correspondence upon the death of her brother.

References: Arthur F. Jones, The Art of Paul Sawyier (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1976)
Only minor perimeter toning.
Sold: $27,025.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Shaker Clothes Press,
Lot # 35 - Shaker Clothes Press,
American, ca 1830. Poplar and pine, one piece with molded cornice, blind paneled door over three drawers, all with turned pulls; ht. 89, wd. 33.75, dp. 18.5 in. > Item Details
Miniature Classical Chest of Drawers,
Lot # 278 - Miniature Classical Chest of Drawers,
American, early 19th century, mahogany veneer over pine. A miniature classical chest with inset mirror at top and seven drawers below, flanked by columns, resting on turned feet. Chest has the original mushroom knobs and one locking drawer; 20.5" high x 19" wide x 11.5" deep. > Item Details
Porter Blanchard Arts & Crafts Sterling Salt,
Lot # 436 - Porter Blanchard Arts & Crafts Sterling Salt,
American, California, ca 1910. An urn-form sterling salt, marked Sterling/Porter Blanchard, 2.5" high x 4.25" handle to handle. 2.733 ozt. > Item Details
Odd Fellows Tin Shield, Knives, Spears and Axe,
Lot # 26 - Odd Fellows Tin Shield, Knives, Spears and Axe,
American, ca 1900. A painted tin shield with emblem of "The Eye of God", together with carved and painted wooden emblems of the Independent Order of Odd Fellowship (IOOF); shield 18.5" long; 3 knives, 14.5" to 19" long; 4 spears, 61" to 80" long; axe, 44" long. > Item Details
William Lionel Wyllie Marine Etchings,
Lot # 485 - William Lionel Wyllie Marine Etchings,
English, early 19th century, three marine scenes, etchings on paper. A fine group by William L. Wyllie (1851-1931), including Parthenon, with book published by Wyllie; 10" high x 13" wide; with Cobbles; 8.5" high x 19.5" wide (sight); and Untitled; 8.75" high x 20" wide (sight). > Item Details
Miniature Restauration Dressing Table,
Lot # 392 - Miniature Restauration Dressing Table,
French, ca 1820-1830, miniature Restauration period piece in mahogany, with mirror supported by attached columns, the table top with depressed center for a tiny wash bowl. One long drawer surmounts a concave frieze, both with gilt metal mounts, all rising on columnar legs; 9.125" high x 6.75" wide x... > Item Details
C. W. Peale (after) Oil on Canvas,
Lot # 86 - C. W. Peale (after) Oil on Canvas,
American, late 19th century. Handwritten in ink on verso, Rachel Peale, wife of Charles Wilson Peale daughter of Brewer eastern shore of Maryland The original of this painting is a small miniature on ivory which was painted from life by James Peale brother of C. W. Peale in the year 1770 This painti... > Item Details
Gainsborough (after) Portrait Miniature on Ivory,
Lot # 210 - Gainsborough (after) Portrait Miniature on Ivory,
Continental, late 19th century, signed but illegible. A portrait miniature after Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan; painted in 1785-86. Housed in a period, wood with ivory inlay frame; 3.50" high x 2.75" wide (sight). > Item Details
Folk Art Paddle Wheel Model,
Lot # 1 - Folk Art Paddle Wheel Model,
American, 1886. A handmade folk art paddle wheel model of the Lily Jane, of wood, metal, glass and plaster with original paint. Details include two lifeboats, also folky figures of sailors and gentleman on the hurricane deck. Dated on brass plaque, Feb 21st 1886; 18.5" high x 33" wide x 16" deep. > Item Details
Rookwood Faience Tile Panels from the Mills Restaurant,
Lot # 459 - Rookwood Faience Tile Panels from the Mills Restaurant,
Cincinnati, Ohio, ca 1921. Two Rookwood faience tile panels (one pictured) from the Mills Restaurant, formerly located at 31-39 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, Ohio; each approximately 45" high x 27" wide. > Item Details
Gray's of Belfast Gold Pocket Watch,
Lot # 373 - Gray's of Belfast Gold Pocket Watch,
Anglo-Irish, ca 1820s, by (John) Gray, partner with Robert Gray, Belfast. Paired 18K gold case, with both cases struck for Chester 1823-24. White enamel dial with Roman chapter ring, seconds subsidiary dial and gold hands. Key wind, key set, chain fusee movement with lever escapement; case approx... > Item Details
Portrait of a Girl in a Red Dress,
Lot # 116 - Portrait of a Girl in a Red Dress,
American, possibly New York, ca 1840, oil on canvas, unsigned. A young woman in a red dress stands on a balcony with mountainous terrain in the background. Provenance suggests the location is the Catskill Mountains of New York. In a likely original gilt frame; 48.5" high x 26.25" wide (sight). > Item Details
Small Blanket Box with Old Surface,
Lot # 51 - Small Blanket Box with Old Surface,
American, early 19th century, of poplar and pine. Blanket box has an old surface over the original blue paint with black painted molding at the base and turned feet. Green painted interior with till; 13.75" high x 30" wide x 10.5" deep. > Item Details
Arts and Crafts Copper and Silver Noteholder,
Lot # 437 - Arts and Crafts Copper and Silver Noteholder,
ca 1900, hammered copper with applied projectile point fastened with silver straps, on an oak base. Unsigned, stamped copper and silver. 2" high x 4" long x 3" deep. > Item Details
Baldwin Gardiner Coin Silver Tea Service,
Lot # 93 - Baldwin Gardiner Coin Silver Tea Service,
New York, second quarter 19th century. Three pieces with corn husk finials, marked B.Gardiner/New York (w. 1827-38). Includes teapot, covered sugar bowl, and cream pitcher. Sugar is 10.25" high. 77.322 ozt. See Kovel, 143. > Item Details
Joel Ellis Doll,
Lot # 287 - Joel Ellis Doll,
Springfield, Vermont, ca 1870s, wood and metal. Handmade original undergarments and a recreated dress: 15" high. > Item Details
Pennsylvania German Decorated Firkin,
Lot # 64 - Pennsylvania German Decorated Firkin,
late 19th century, hand-painted wood. A Pennsylvania German firkin with original paint on a red-orange ground with tulip and floral decoration, with areas of yellow accent decoration. All covered in varnish that has aged and turned the exposed red a salmon color. Bail handle, with copper tacks aroun... > Item Details
Folk Art Carved and Painted Turtle,
Lot # 7 - Folk Art Carved and Painted Turtle,
American, mid to late 19th century. Folk art carved and painted turtle having an old varnished surface, paint decorated with yellow daubs and red eyes; 3" high x 8.5" wide x 12" long. For similar examples see Bishop, American Folk Sculpture, pg 280; figs 518 and 519. > Item Details
Three Brass Car Horns and Two Steel Car Horns,
Lot # 2000 - Three Brass Car Horns and Two Steel Car Horns,
polished bright brass horn with missing black rubber ball marked Nonpareil. The other two brass horns are unmarked. Steel horn marked Samson-Tiger/American Electric Co. Chicago. Second steel horn is marked Klaxon-3 Company Newark, NJ. > Item Details
Ohio Late Classical Cherry Three-Drawer Stand,
Lot # 163 - Ohio Late Classical Cherry Three-Drawer Stand,
attributed to Ross County, Ohio, ca 1820-1825. Cherry with walnut secondary, each drawer with bead, one with inlaid shield escutcheon, over pineapple and acanthus leaf-carved and turned legs; 28.875" high x 23.5" wide x 17.5" deep. (See Hageman, Ohio Furniture Makers 1790-1845, pp 70.) > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: