Appalachian Folk Art Miniature Joe Byrnside Violin Fiddle

Folk Art Miniature Joe Byrnside Violin Fiddle




We discovered this sensitively made miniature violin at an antique “mall” east of Huntington, West Virginia in the middle 1980s. It was documented as being made by Joe Byrnside in Boone County, West Virginia, circa 1940s.

It is made of bent and carved wood, with decorative paint illustrating the maker’s signature J and B. The delicate metal “strings” are attached to the tail piece traveling over the bridge, up the neck and tightened over the tuning pegs. It also has F holes and a lovely scroll on which a short piece of old string, perhaps for hanging, is attached. The skill set shown indicates a true understanding of both the musical instrument as well as its construction. It is in excellent condition, all original to the maker’s vision and hand.

Measurements: approximately 12″ long x 3.5″ wide x 1.5″ tall

Seven Vintage John Deere and Farm Supply Advertising Bullet Pencils

farm bullet pencils

It is easy to date these vintage advertising bullet pencils as being from the 1940s and the 1950s. Some don’t even include phone digits, let alone the ubiquitous web urls we are now provided for businesses. Most of this group’s include a several digit number, which assumes a local connection for the user. These pencils were unique to an era.

They each have a “bullet” tip which when pulled out reveals the pencil with its protected, sharpened lead. The second segment of the pencil consists of the printed, early plastic cover with the eraser on the other end. These bullet pencils may be seen in photographs of farmers in their denim overalls. Each overall bib had a sewn area for a writing utensil such as a bullet pencil. These and similar bullet pencils were not only a savvy means of advertising for local, regional, or national advertising of farm equipment, seed, and other similar services, but a functional, if not necessary writing instrument back in the day.

This is an instant collection on which to build for anyone interested in John Deere equipment, farming, writing instruments, or the history of advertising ephemera. Included are two John Deere (four legged deer). and one Pioneer Seed Corn bullet pencil. Two of the seven appear to have been lightly used or not used. Six are in very good vintage condition. We have included a seventh bullet pencil, this one from Stark Trucking. Although we could, no doubt, use a pliers to pull it open, we have not.

The full list and related companies or towns: John Deere/Wolf Sales Co., Scio, Ohio / John Deere Cedarville, Ohio / Welch HIGRADE Fertilizers / Pioneer Corn Co., Tipton, Ohio / Madison Farm Bureau, London, Ohio / C. E. Hill, “On the bank of the Deer Creek, Williamsport, Ohio / Stark Trucking, Fountanelle, Iowa

Measurements: approximately 4″ long x .5” wide

Vintage Carved and Painted Figures of a Man and Woman

Carved Couple

carved women

carved man

We discovered this wonderful pair of figures at the Heartland Antique Show in Richmond, Indiana in the middle 1990s. They had been brought to this nationally recognized show by a antique dealer from Iowa. She did not know the figures provenance but said she believed them to be from the late 30s to early 40s. They are delicate and beautifully carved with great skill exhibited in technique. The attire is well articulated, the man holds a hat behind his back. The hat must have been broken at some stage as it had been carefully glued together at the time of our purchase. The woman’s shoes have some loss of the black paint. She is also missing what we believe must have been a basket which rested upon her left hip. There is a small peg which juts from her hip, some absence of paint makes it apparent something had been applied and then painted. Her flaxen hair and some of her facial features have been sculpted from a composite material. Perhaps glue and sawdust? Both the male and female figure stand on their original stained bases, each approximately 4″ x 4.5″ x .5″ tall. The figures each stand approximately 10″ tall on their bases. Scribed in pencil on the bottom of the male figure’s base is “Seale,” nothing further was discovered about their origin.