The seller of the artwork featured as this week's auction items grew up in Colchester and found these pieces in a Norwich shop that was going out of business. Over 20 years later, they feel it's time to give these two framed pictures a new home.
The user columbinelover is selling the pieces, whose frames measure 12 inches by 11 inches. One picture is a woodblock print, while the other is a pen and ink drawing. The seller recommends replacing the frames and matting and estimates that the artwork dates back to the decades between 1920 and 1940.
There aren't many clues as to the origin of the artwork. One piece portrays a forest scene, while another shows a set of quaint homes among trees at the base of a hill. Both pictures are signed "R. Tudhope" and the backs include a stamp saying the pictures were framed at Costello's Frame Shop at 11 Union Street here in New London.
The "R. Tudhope" is likely Richard Tudhope, who was part of the staff of the Williams School when it opened in its new location near the campus of Connecticut College in 1955. Tudhope taught seventh and eighth grade as well as art, and designed the set for at least one school play. Sometime later, Tudhope became the head of the lower school. He was involved in the nearby Lyman Allyn Art Museum, appearing in a 1945 issue of American Art International as the secretary of the board of trustees. Tudhope also chaired the crafts division of the Norwich Art Association.
Union Street was the place to go for some time if you wanted to get a picture done up. After working at Costello's Frame Shop for some time, Ozzie Darrow opened his own business at 15 Union Street in 1955. The Art and Frame Shop was a presence on the street for several decades. I wasn't able to find much more beyond that, although several sellers have noted the Costello's tag on pieces related to New London.
The auction ends at about 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday. The asking bid to start is $29.99 with another $14.45 for shipping.