Thursday, 21 June 2007

Mrs. Butterhouse

I'm a sucker for vintage original portraits. This one tugged at my heart so hard I almost cried. I was at the Re-Use-It Centre a few weeks ago when an old women walked in struggling to carry this huge painting. (It is about 3'x5') She shuffled to the front counter and asked the clerk if she thought anyone would actually want or buy it, as no one in her family seemed to care about it. Not meaning to eavesdrop (although you know us second-hand shop types, we always keep our ear to the ground-in a nice way) I realized that the portrait was of the old women. How sad that not a solitary soul would want it. I milled about in the kitchen/nic-nac section and watched from the corner of my eye. In the end, she left the painting behind and walked out the door. I immediately approached the counter and told them 'not to bother hanging it' and that I would be so pleased to purchase it. It was aged to perfection and the muted patina called my name.

As I drove home I kept sneaking a peak at this beautiful face in my rear-view mirror. What was her story? Where did she hang? Did she have a good life? Did she find true love? Her eyes looked back at me. I decided: She must be given a name. And, the shimmering dress was a soft butter yellow beside an elegant & romantic looking mink background. Was she wealthy? How many children did she have? Grandchildren? Now 'Mrs. Butterhouse' proudly hangs in my front hall. I wish I knew more but this just adds to the value of this sentimental treasure. I hope the real 'Mrs. Butterhouse', whoever she is, knows inside that someone fell in love with this. Now I'm trying to figure out what year it might have been painted. What do you think?


kate said...

I'd say from the shortish-mega-waved hair and the full skirt, 1950-something. Prolly earlier rather than later.

It's a lovely painting!


Thank you Kate! I suspected the 50's.

mamafrog said...

Saw your post on Dress A Day and had to take a look at your picture! It looks like something I saw ladies wear when I was a kid, probably from the late 40's or very early 50's. Check out John Peacock's books on fashion in your Library. Nice drawings that make fashion from different eras easy to imagine.