Chalkware is molded or carved plaster of paris, usually painted in oil or watercolor. Easily mass-produced and inexpensive, chalkware has enjoyed numerous periods of popularity as folk and decorative art, as well as a material used for advertising, souvenirs, and religious statuary. Chalkware of all types attracts avid collectors and the best examples do well at auction. The earliest American examples date to the mid-18th century and are extremely rare due to the fragility of the material. Our multi-media piece (ca1810-20) depicts a painted chalk songbird on a wooden fence post with moveable painted chalk morning glories attached by wire vines. It appears to have been created by an individual Pennsylvania folk artist, not mass-produced, and may have originally been part of a larger composition. Delicacy, charm, attention to detail in the balanced pose of the songbird, and the exuberant almost comic flowers all contribute to an outstanding example of the genre. The alabaster base, while possibly antique, was likely made to hold our bird in a bush at some later date. The collection label attached to the base’s underside seems to support this. Condition: Very good for its age and fragility. The bird’s tail has been reattached, chip to the beak & minor losses. Dimensions: Bird on post sculpture 8.25" x 5" wide at widest point, base 3-1/2" x 3-5/8" x 3/8".