Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsBoston MA
March 3, 2013 10:00 AMCalender

Martha Anne Hunnewell Cutwork Heart

Sell one like this
Auction: American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2640BLocation: BostonDate / Time: March 03, 2013 10:00AM


Martha Anne Hunnewell Cutwork Heart, America, 1809, white paper cutout heart with detailed images of foliage, birds, an urn, and the initials "JP," mounted on conforming dark blue paper above a note inscribed "The inclosed [sic] specimen of taste & art was designed and executed by Martha A. Hunnewell, a young lady without hands, in the presence of, and for Joseph Pope at Portland, May 24 1809," the heart measures 2 1/2 x 2 3/8 in., mounted with the note in a later frame.

Note: Martha Anne Honeywell was born around 1787 in Lempster, New Hampshire. She was born with only the first joints of both arms, and one foot with three toes. She was able to earn a living by traveling along the Eastern seaboard of the United States and to Europe exhibiting her talent of cutting silhouette portraits and cutwork pictures by holding the paper with her toes and the scissors with her mouth, she also offered finely stitched needlepoint watch papers, and wrote tiny verses with her mouth.
Estimate $300-500

The cut-work heart is hand-stitched to the dark blue paper backing and then it and the paper with the inscription are loosely tacked/glued to a (likely later) backing paper/card, the whole is surrounded by a black paper mat and an off-white velvet mat in a later frame.
Some of the small foliage pieces of the cut-work have folds and creases and are lifting up and away from the blue backing paper which may be intentional, and the cut paper, inscription paper, and mounting paper is toned and with brownish spots (from the acid in the paper).
There may be a few small losses to a few segments of foliage, but at the present don't detect any.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Martha Anne Honeywell, Portland, Martha A. Hunnewell, Lempster, New Hampshire, United States