Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blueberry season, 1907

Here's the blueberry for which you were longing. Wish you were here so you could have some of the fresh ones. We are working hard but having a good time too--with love-- Marie--

This lovely watercolor by Marie was added to a plain vanilla postcard. Was she working hard at an artists' retreat, or picking blueberries, or some other activity? It's always a thrill to find original artwork in an unexpected place. Someone used the front as a blotter, but the delicate watercolor is untouched and vibrant.

The postmark, as you can see below, is Ogunquit, Maine, August 15, 1907, and the recipient was Mrs. Enos B. Comstock, 556 W. 186th St., New York, N.Y.

A quick Google search reveals that Enos B. Comstock was an illustrator, 1879-1945; Marie could have been his daughter; but since it is addressed only to Mrs. Comstock, I'm more likely to think it was his wife's sister. But that's just a guess. Could be just a dear friend to Mrs. Comstock.

In the NY Times archive, an obituary that provides more information: Frances Bassett Comstock, wife of Enos B. Comstock, and also an artist in her own right, died of pneumonia in Feb. 1922 at her home in Leonia, N.J. (which is not far from where I live); she was 41.

There are many references online--on rare book sites, art sites and even eBay to Enos Comstock as writer (children's books such as "More tuck-me-in stories") and illustrator for writers such as H. Rider Haggard. Both Frances and Enos contributed illustrations to the 1909 A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Frances did many other McLoughlin Bros. books.

From around the web:

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