14 June 2012

new rehab project

This may be a bit more work than I expected . . . . (click on any photo to see enlarged)

I won this vintage Winsor & Newton paint palette on eBay --- It seemed similar to Winsor & Newton's 16 pan set I would love to have but can't afford. Buying and re-enameling this one would cost less. But now that it has arrived, I can see that it is larger than the 16 pan set, seen here. I plan on cleaning it up, inside and out (Bill's dremel will be getting a workout) and re-surfacing with enamel spray paints. But the inner flap will be left as is -- I like the old metal label, which reads:

WINSOR & NEWTON'S                                   

I don't know how old it is, but all of the half pans inside are ceramic -- only one is broken. Porcelain pans were sold c. 1880-1920, according to one online source. The typical half-pan shape are from Winsor & Newton, and have "W & N, LONDON" impressed on the bottom. The squarish pans are from Reeves and say "REEVES SCHOOL QUALITY, MADE IN ENGLAND" underneath.

I'd like to remove the inside framing to allow full sized pans -- not sure how difficult that might be. If they are welded in place, I might have to just bend the dividers down flat.

Most of the cakes still have vibrant color, though they are very hard cakes and require a bit of scrubbing to release the paint. I'd really love to know this palette's history and age. I've seen a photo of an almost identical tin used by Winslow Homer in the late 1800's -- the only difference was whole pans instead of half. It was called a "Japanned Tin Box" as this one is.


  1. What a treasure! And yeah, I guess I couldn't mess with it...

  2. Since this is much older than I expected, and larger than the one I wanted, I'm thinking it should simply be cleaned up and kept as an antique. In fact, I was going to bring it to show you and ask if you'd like it donated to your watercolor museum? It looks identical to Winslow Homer's 1880's palette except for the size of the pans, seen at the Art Institute of Chicago:

  3. Have you considered mounting it in a shadow box? A rescued piece of art history recycled into an art object ... maybe with a small ACEO size painting done with the original paints included to show the vibrancy of these age old paints? Perhaps a small painting of a person of that circa, using that set painting their own picture? Would be a wonderful link from the past to the present and most certainly a conversational art piece.

    Just a thought....

  4. Consult someone knowledgeable about antiques before you clean it up....people on Antiques Road Show are always being told they've decreased the value of something by refinishing it.

  5. IrelandBrady, that's an interesting idea --- maybe I'll have to think about doing that . . .

    Jeanette, you are right. I have decided not to rehab it, given the probable age. By cleaning it up, I only mean to gently wipe out the dust and crumbs, and wash the stains off with plain water.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...