March 02, 2018

A Busy Day in Dollville

This is the real deal.  Reproductions of this adorable and very rare Diamond Dyes advertising sign have been produced over and over, but this is the authentic, bevel-edged tin over cardboard sign; “A Busy Day in Dollville”, circa 1911.

The original has a black border and measures 11 ½ by 17 inches. In addition to the 1911 copyright date, it is also well marked as being manufactured by American Art Works of Coshochton, Ohio, one of the premier makers of tin signs and trays during the first decades of the 20th century.

The artist is Bessie Pease Gutmann, who was born in Philadelphia in 1876, (1876-1960), studied art at several schools as a young woman and was an independent commercial artist.  Gutmann & Gutmann, a company that produced art prints hired her in 1903 and three years later, Bessie married Hellmuth Guttman, her boss.  They had three children who often were used as her models in her illustrations.  She was a working mother long before working mothers were commonplace. 

Bessie Pease Gutmann illustrated 22 magazine covers between the years 1906-1920.  She illustrated books and created innumerable art prints.  As far as research indicates, there is only one self-framed tin advertising sign that bears her work, and that is "A Busy Day in Dollville"

This exceptional and charming piece of advertising history is available at Vintage Gal Antiques.  Please call or email to obtain the price.