Scenes are what most people associate with Wallace Nutting
and they comprise the largest segment of his pictures. These
include pictures of apple blossoms, birches, country lanes,
streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and fall scenes. Wallace
Nutting worked out of Southbury, CT and Framingham, MA and
sold a large percentage of his pictures in New England. Winters
were long and cold and New Englanders generally desired pleasant,
optimistic signs of the warmer weather ahead. As a result,
these nice warm-weather Exterior scenes were his most popular
and best-selling pictures and account for the largest percentage
(85%) of Wallace Nutting pictures that may be found today.
Interior Scenes were pictures photographed inside old
houses and usually had women dressed in long dresses and bonnets,
usually performing household chores such as cooking, sewing,
etc. Some were done in primitive settings, others in more
formal surroundings. They included period furniture, were
quite charming, and demand for them was fueled by growing
interest in America's Colonial Revival Movement. Although
popular, they were not nearly as popular as the Exterior scenes
and accounted for only perhaps 10% of all Wallace Nutting
Scenes were pictures taken by Nutting outside the United
States. Wherever he traveled he took his camera and, on three
trips abroad between 1904-1925, he took pictures in 16 different
countries, mainly throughout Europe (e.g., England & Ireland)
and the Mediterranean region. Foreign scenes often included
bridges, castles, cathedrals, churches, cottages, gardens,
landscapes, and other similar subjects.
Unusual Scenes are basically any Wallace Nutting pictures
that don't fit into the above three categories, including
Animals, Children, Gardens, Men, People, Seascapes, and
Snow scenes. All Foreign and Miscellaneous Unusual topics
combined account for less than 5% of all Wallace Nutting pictures.
peak of Wallace Nutting picture popularity was 1915-25. However
no fad lasts forever and people eventually began to tire of
them. And as Nutting's picture business was declining during
the 1930's, he began seeking other subject areas into which
he could expand.
an attempt to cater to the growing Women's Garden Club movement,
one such area that he introduced was "Floral Still
Life" scenes. "Florals" were close-up
pictures of flowers in vases or bowls, usually arranged by
Mrs. Nutting, and became somewhat popular. We wouldn't describe
Nutting's Florals as rare, but since they were sold for only
a few years (1930-40), during the poor-selling depression
years of the 1930's, relatively few were actually sold and
Florals are generally considered "unusual, but not rare"
by most Nutting collectors.
because they don't look anything like a typical Wallace Nutting
picture, they are often overlooked by Antiques & Collectibles
dealers. Hence, bargains are out there
if you know
what to look for.
Here are a few of the identifying characteristics of Wallace
Nutting Floral Still Life scenes.
Florals: Many Florals were mounted upon a mat board, and
usually signed with the "title" lower left
beneath the image, and the distinctive "Wallace Nutting"
signature lower right. Some mats had a slight indentation
around the image, title and signature, while other mattings
had a 1/4" non-indented black border around the image,
with the title and signature beneath the border. Most "titled"
Wallace Nutting matted Floral Still Life scenes are in the
13"x16" or 16"x20" sizes. "Untitled"
Florals (picture with a signature but no title) are usually
in the 8"x10"size.
Florals: Many Florals were "close-framed",
which means that there was no mat, and that the frame surrounded
the picture itself. Most close-framed Florals were signed
on the image itself, often in pencil (and not pen), but the
signature was often overlooked because of its small size,
especially on miniature or smaller pictures. Most close-framed
Florals were smaller in size, ranging from 4"x5"
(miniatures) to 8"x10", although a few 11"
x 14" and 16"x20" close-framed Florals may
Both matted and close-framed Florals often carried a Wallace
Nutting "copyright label" on the backing
paper, which basically guaranteed that the picture was an
original hand-colored Wallace Nutting picture, and usually
had the picture's "Wallace Nutting Studio Number"
hand written on it. And it was this "hand-written
studio # on the copyright label" that was often the
only way to ascertain the picture's actual title on close-framed
are approximately 60 different Floral scenes available to
collect today so identifying the exact title of each picture
has become fairly difficult for collectors. Some Floral titles
are relatively common while others are extremely rare, and
command a premium price.
with the title written on the matting are obviously easier
to identify than "Untitled" or close-framed
pictures that aren't identified. Perhaps the biggest problem
with Wallace Nutting's Florals is that the backing papers
are all nearly 100 years old, have become extremely fragile
and brittle and, many have been lost. And once the copyright
label has been lost on closed-framed pictures, how do you
determine the title of the picture?
tried to resolve this dilemma in two ways.
by writing this column we've tried to help you better understand
Wallace Nutting's Floral Still Life scenes.
we've created a special web page devoted to Wallace Nutting's
Floral Still Life scenes. If you are curious about a Nutting
Floral title, simply go to this web page "www.WNutting.com/Florals.htm",
and see if you can match your picture with its title. There
is no charge for this service.
Wallace Nutting Floral Titles:
the Big Mahogany
the Mahogany (Same as above)
and Larkspur (different vase version)
Fluff and Buttercup
de Lis and Spirea
White and Green
and Larkspur Clusters
if you have a Wallace Nutting Floral that doesn't appear on
this page, please send us a photo and the title and we'll
add it to the page (send to: email@example.com).
About the Author: Michael Ivankovich is an Auctioneer,
Appraiser and Home Downsizing Specialist in Doylestown (Bucks
County) PA and has been specializing in Wallace Nutting and
other Early 20th Century Hand-Colored Photography for more
than 35 years. He has authored numerous books on Wallace Nutting
including the "Collectors Guide to Wallace Nutting Pictures".
His next Wallace Nutting Auction will be held on May 13, 2016
in Ft. Washington PA in conjunction with the 2016 Wallace
Nutting Collectors Club Convention where over 20 various Florals
will be sold. Further information can be found at: www.WNutting.com
Wallace Nutting, Michael Ivankovich, Hand Colored Photography,
Floral Still Lifes, Wallace Nutting Florals