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Virtual Watercolor
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updated October 20 2012
 
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The Virtual Museum of Watercolor Gallery of:

Early  American

Made & Brands of

Watercolor Paint Blocks, Palette & Supplies

1700's to early 1900's

 
The Virtual Museum of Watercolor
This Virtual Museum is a collection of photographs
items are shown on this page are for historical interest -and are not for sale and
are physically in various collections throughout the world

 

      
 
Most watercolor paint , pigment & paper was imported until the Revolutionary War and war of 1812 when America was more isolated from British imports and developed domestic sources.
 
Less is known about the early American watercolor materials suppliers than is known of British manufacture. We are gathering information and items to fill in this American history. Please contact us if you have any items or information available. Updates will be posted periodically

 

 
 
 
NEW POST:
 

 

J Brutsche American Made Paint Box

J. Brutsche American Made Antique Paint box and Blocks c. 1850's
 
 
Blocks have shell and acorn motif on front and are marked Brutsche on the back.
the large block seems to have an animal motif and the small block seems to have a maritime motif- possibly of different manufacture
part of a quill brush and small glass mixing well is included
 
Joseph Brutsche 1804- 1888 : Migrated from Baden Germany to America in 1827 and Naturalized in 1831
was noted in the 1850 census : occupation -Water color Manufacturer in Philadelphia
Listed in Philadelphia City Directories 1855-1863 as a watercolor Manufacturer on 10th St.
Box is 1 3/4 x 5 x 3/4 inches photo enlarged for detail
To fill out the collection we are searching for more American boxes blocks
c. 2013 R M Bodoh
 
 
              
American MADE ANTIQUE WATERCOLOR PAINT BLOCKS
 

 

 
American Made Antique Paint Blocks
19th century
 
Marked A P HOMER PHILA. (Philadelphia)
 
Other side is a shield with branch of leaves.
 
photo enlarged for detail
To fill out the collection we are searching for more American blocks like these or with "Osborne" label
c. 2011 R M Bodoh
 
 
American Made:
Osborne's Toy watercolors #16
Manufactured by Lewis Haehnlen in Philadelphia
around the1850's
 
The lid of this box slides out to reveal a wonderful child set of 12 different watercolors.
Some have a embossed bee hive motif , others have an American flag, a shield with stars over head or a ship.
This small box measures 5 inches long by 2 5/8 wide
the last line reads: "successor to John S Hodgkinson"
 
 
 
 
 
 
American Made
Artists watercolor paint box
by George C. Osborne
1830- 1840
 
Osborne was was one of the few 19th century American makers of artists paint.
Many artists of the time believed the especially clear paint colors by Osborne to be equal or better to any made in Europe.
 
The paints for an Osborne paint box were made by Smith & Hodgson which later became
the Bullock & Crenshaw's Drug and chemical store,
in Philadelphia from 1820 to around the 1840's
Lewis Haehnlen took over manufacturing the watercolor paints around the 1850's to possibly 1860's
 
 
This large box is earlier from 1830's to 1840's
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above is the trade card saying
"OSBORNE'S
SUPERFINE American
WATER COLORS,
WARRANTED
EQUAL TO ANY IMPORTED"
The rest of the label are testimonials
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Their boxes were available in Mahogany or Rosewood in sets of up to 72 colors.
This one is possibly Rosewood.
 
 
 
The inside of the box is lined with an interesting marbled paper.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Please contact us with any availability of
American brands such as this
we are trying to fill in the history & collection.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PAINT PALETTES c. 1700's -1800's
Most American manufacturing suppliers imported the materials for paint making.
But palettes were often special ordered from Europe for American brands, as can be seen below
 
 
F R & Co. New York , made in Germany
 
This is called a Georgian design palette first used in England in the early 1800's, but the
date of this palette is probably mid to late 1800's
 
Favor Ruhl & Co. was an art supply dealer from the 1800's to early 1900's
They began in New York and later New York, Chicago and Boston
They were also a vendor of Winsor & Newton Ltd. in 1905 or earlier to 1926 or later
Request: information on F & R Company New York
 
F& R Co. New York , made in Germany
 
 
 
FW DEVOE & Co. palette late 1880's to the early 1900's
4 3/4 by 6 inch approximately
Devoe was the first US Art Supplier in the to carry Winsor & Newton in the late 1880's or earlier to the early 1900's
 
 
 
  
 
 

 

List of known watercolor paint makers 1870's and earlier (under construction)

Ashton & Browning, artists' paints, & c., 204 chestnut .(possibly a merchant only)(Philadelphia)1.
 
Devoe, FW : what became FJ Devoe was founded around 1756 in New York and though one of the earliest of general paint makers they were not known to produce artists paints until around 1870.
 
Osborne George w., manuf. water colours, NE 6th and Mulberry, h 1 Jacoby .(Philadelphia)1. Made paints sold by Chemists...., Around 1850 Osborne brand paints were made by Haehnlen of Phili. until around 1890
 
Smith Joseph, manuf. of water colours, 199 G T road .(Philadelphia)1.
 
Brutsche Joseph was noted in the 1850 census with the occupation as a a-Water color Manufacturer :
Also mentioned in Philadelphia city directories:
Brustche Joseph -Water color Manufacturer 29 S 10th (Philadelphia)2.-1855
Brustche Joseph -Water color Manufacturer 31 S 10th (Philadelphia)3.-1857
Brutsche Joseph -Water color Manufacturer 250 S 10th (Philadelphia)4 1863)
 
Martin/F Weber Co. founded 1852 in Philadelphia as Scholz & Co Imported & manufactured artist materials . became F W Weber Co inc in 1887 (company web site)
 
1. reference 1839 McElroy Philadelphia directory:
2. reference 1855 McElroy Philadelphia directory:
3. reference 1857 McElroy Philadelphia directory:
4. reference 1863 McElroy Philadelphia directory:
 
  The rest of this page is under construction -
Please check back
Thank you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not all of these are for sale , some are shown for historical interest.
Photos are copyright protected
 
(c)1985-2011 All original designs and photographs shown herein are and copyright protected.
(c) Copyright 1985- 2011 The Whimsie Studio, Larry Henke, Ronald Bodoh
Whimsie studio is a trademark protected name
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Colonial American merchant carried water color paint & pigments imported from Europe.; often England. Occasionally materials were made under the label of a retail merchant.
 
Until the mid 1700's Watercolor paint was always made up fresh by the artist or a colorman for the artist. colormen would put a bit of fresh paint in a pigs bladder and tie it off for transport but would not be easily used once dried. (example of gamboge)
Saying : Working up color.
 
It was not until William and Thomas Reeves invented the dry watercolor block with the addition of honey amount 1760 that the paint compound could be more easily worked up with water , stored indefinitely and exported. (French colormen are also sited for the same invention) example of reeves blocks
supplies were Undoubtedly interrupted by the Revolutionary War and the war of 1812 with England.Example my William reeves box with a assorted makers - box believed to be in early America.
Imports during that time most probably expanded to other European countries especially France and Germany. Which had skilled colormen and developed manufacturing . And even forged British paint example reeves blocks.
A hand full of colonists began to make watercolors from imported pigments and colonial American pigments of natural sources & ones made by chemists. Many were immigrant colormen from other countries- quite often Germany. Most settled in larger cities of NY and Phili.
List of known watercolor paint makers 1870's and earlier (under construction)
Ashton & Browning, artists' paints, & c., 204 chestnut .(possibly a merchant only)(Philadelphia)1.
Devoe, FW : what became FJ Devoe was founded around 1756 in New York and though one of the earliest of general paint makers they were not known to produce artists paints until around 1870.
Osborne George w., manuf. water colours, NE 6th and Mulberry, h 1 Jacoby .(Philadelphia)1. Made paints sold by Chemists...., Around 1850 Osborne brand paints were made by ....... then Haehnlen of Phili. until 1890??? example link to Osborne box labels
Smith Joseph, manuf. of water colours, 199 G T road .(Philadelphia)1.
Brustche Joseph was noted in the 1850 census with the occupation as a a-Water color Manufacturer :born 1804 in Baden Germany. Was a water color manufacturer Baden.
1827 migrated to America. Naturalized in 1831 Passed May 28 1888(Philadelphia Death Certificates)
Brustche Joseph -Water color Manufacturer 29 S 10th (Philadelphia)2.-1855
Brustche Joseph -Water color Manufacturer 31 S 10th (Philadelphia)3.-1857
Brutsche Joseph -Water color Manufacturer 250 S 10th (Philadelphia)4 1863. (note spelling of last name incorrect but most probably the same person) See also Brustche box and history.
Martin/F Weber Co. founded 1852 in Philadelphia as Scholz & Co Imported & manufactured artist materials . became F W Wever Co inc in 1887
invented and produced paint (company web site)
1. reference 1839 McElroy Philadelphia directory:
2. reference 1855 McElroy Philadelphia directory:
3. reference 1857 McElroy Philadelphia directory:
4. reference 1863 McElroy Philadelphia directory: