This is an original watercolor and gouache showing the coat of arms of the "Schenk" family. It was 'Granted A. D. 798." It was executed in the late 19th or early 20th Century by R. B. Irmtraut, a known heraldic artist. The work was done on a very heavy illustration paper that bears the blind stamp "Bristol LM," and is signed in the lower right. It is matted and framed in a modern fluted cove frame with a dark finish.
R. B. Irmtraut was an illustrator of heraldic crests and an authority on their design. Examples of his work appeared in a magazine published by the American College of Heraldry. The first example probably was in: "Chronotype," (American College of Heraldry), March, 1873, Vol. 1, No. 3, between page 80 and 81. This is a full page illustration of heraldic design symbols and is signed at the bottom right of the page.
Measurements are: watercolor, 10 1/2 inches x 8 1/4 inches; sheet, 15 1/2 inches x 12 1/2 inches; frame, outer dimensions, 21 1/2 inches x 19 1/4 inches.
Condition is: frame is new and good; watercolor has strong color and good overall. There is a tear in the lower left margin that is well below the drawing. The is a loss to the top right corner. Under the mat none of the flaws are visible.
Vintage American heraldic watercolors are very scarce items and make terrific decoration. This example was one of a pair purchased decades ago from a private collection in the Hudson River Valley in New York State. Please see our listing JT107 for the other example.
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