Quite Fantastical Victorian Painting of Chicks eating the Leftovers from the Sea Food Course


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THE STORY - As I walked along the stalls at an Antiques Market my head was turned by this quite fantastical painting of three chicks, a half eaten lobster and a mussel shell. The painting is on board, although I am uncertain of the paint used The paint looks too thick to be watercolour but too thin to be oil. It is neither signed or dated and sits in what looks like its original gilt wooden frame. Of course on returning home I couldn't wait to start researching my painting. It turns out this image is one that has been painted many times both in England and America , this painting I believe is a slightly cut down version. Frustratingly I could not find out who originally painted this image. My sense is that it could have been a popular Victorian image possibly used on Christmas Cards, which although seems weird to us now, the Victorians did love their macabre images such as Dead Birds on Christmas Card. The painting of this version is I think very fine, the feathers on those chicks looks so fluffy and the lobster very detailed and the colours are still vibrant. And I love the size of this painting, the proportions seem just perfect for the painting framed it is approx 10" in height by 11" in Width.

AGE - Circa 1900

CONDITION - The painting is in good condition and the colours still have a vibrancy. The frame too is in good condition but there is damage to both of the top corners with chips out of the decorated gesso edges. The glass is free from scratches that I can see. The paper on the back of the frame is beginning to deteriorate. The lace hanging has age to it and I would recommend testing or replacing before hanging.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Framed - Height 10" / 25.5cm, Width 11" / 28cm, Depth 1&1/4 / 3.5cm. Painting Size - Height 6" / 15cm, Width 7& 1/4" / 18.5cm

I love this crazy little painting. Although small in size it certainly has impact and that was so true for me when I walked among the stalls, this painting turned my head and made me stop. I would of loved to have found out who created this fantastical image, who knows one day I may do, this is certainly a little painting that is not easy to forget.

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