In the style of masters like William Harnett, John F. Peto, Otto Kaye and others, this is a painting of an ink bottle, old style fountain pen, pipe and matches, stamped envelope and calendar, signed at lower right "Roy Fay". The letter, in the trompe l'oeil" (French for "fool the eye") tradition, is addressed to himself, in "Pasadena, Cal", and is interestingly postmarked in Kansas. The calendar is from the "Ohio Grocery", of Pasadena, and the calendar sheet reads November 1912. The painting may well be that old---hard to tell, but in no case would be later than about 1940, judging from the materials and style. The work has a little puncture at upper left and some show-through of the stretcher bars, but is otherwise in good condition. Further research would probably lead to information on the artist. A charming little painting, measuring 10" by 15" (13 1/2" by 18 1/2" in simple wood frame).
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