Paint decorated bellows
Lynn, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, 1847
Poplar, leather, iron, original painted decoration, inscribed in yellow paint on backside: “Conrad Kistler” / “1847”, 18 1/8 x 7 1/8 x 4 ¼ inches
This is one of four closely related bellows bearing the painted signature of Conrad Kistler known to us; the others include an assembled pair, one dated 1854 in a Pennsylvania collection and a single example dated 1855 was owned by us in 2007. Conrad Kistler was the son of Johannes Kistler (1750-1819) and Eva Maria Wiederstein (1750-1819). He was born October 1, 1786 in Lynn, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and died there on September 21, 1859. The 1820 census records “Conrad Kistler in Lynn Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania,” The 1850 census shows “Conrad Kistler, age 63, born about 1787 in Lynn, Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.” According the Hilffrich Pastoral Records of Lehigh County Pennsylvania, 1790-1810, and 1816-1862, “Conrad Kistler died September 21, 1859, aged 72, died from weak stomach.”
H. Marshall Goodman, Richmond, VA; Robert E. Crawford, Manakin-Sabot, VA; Collection of Henry and Elizabeth Deyerle, Harrisonburg, VA; “The Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Henry P. Deyerle,” Sotheby’s, on site in Charlottesville, VA, May 26-27, 1995, lot 619; Collection of Ralph O. Esmerian, New York, formerly a promised gift to the American Folk Art Museum; “Visual Grace: Important American Folk Art from the collection of Ralph O. Esmerian,” Sotheby’s, New York, January 25, 2014, lot 602; David A. Schorsch and Eileen M. Smiles, Woodbury, CT; Private collection
“American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum,” American Folk Art Museum, New York, December 11, 2001-June 2, 2002.
Stacy C. Hollander, Ed., American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum (New York, 2001), pages 177 and 462. no. 145.