Vintage George and Martha Portraits!


Yes, now you can show off your patriotic fervor just in time for Independence Day with these! These are George and Martha Washington plaque-type wall hangings. The person who gave me these has no idea how old they are, except that "they're old". They were hanging on the wall in her mother's house while she was growing up. So they are at least fiftyish, since that's how old the giver is. Here's what the backs looks like—no clues there that I can see....

The profiles themselves seem to be made of some sort of cast metal mounted on a background. You can see small casting seams along the edges if you look closely. The frames seem to be some sort of powder-coated or enameled metal. They are lightly scuffed in spots and have a bit of rust here and there, as you can imagine after fifty years. The glass protecting them is slightly convex, no doubt to make room for the images inside. All in all they are in pretty good shape, which is natural if you've spent your entire life hanging on a wall and not being used as Frisbees, which is probably what would have happened in OUR house. Not out of any lack of respect for George and Martha, but out of sheer necessity, since we had probably already thrown our real Frisbee on the roof and Mom wouldn't let us climb out our second-story windows to retrieve it.


Both plaques are about six inches in diameter. They depict the profiles of George and Martha Washington in bas relief. Good ol' George looks just like he looks on the American quarter, except for a slightly more pronounced brow and a real attempt to give him that chiseled Roman-godlike aspect. Plus he's showing more skin here than he probably ever did in real life, I imagine. Yeah, baby—show us that manly neck!


Poor Martha, on the other, she should totally sue the person who made these. Clearly her publicist was taking a nap when the commissioned artist was explaining his vision. Martha looks about as frumped-out as one can get outside of the universe of Mojo herself. How come George gets to look so great and she ... does not? She looks a little like the dumpy comic-relief maid or nurse or dimwitted serving girl from an Ivory-Merchant wannabee costume drama. You could just see, during the high drama of witch hunts or plagues, this person come blasting into the house all panicked and saying something like "Coo, mum, Master's gon fallen in t' pig sty agin! Them hogs be worryin' him summat fierce!"


I've searched all over the internet trying to find similar things, but to no avail. Lots of plates, and one or two cast iron silhouettes, and of course all the weird paraphenalia, too, like salt and pepper shakers and shoes and commemorative silverware. (Is it really respectful of either Washington to use them as utensils for, say, eating pickles? Really, sometimes I don't get what people are thinking...) So like I said, I have no idea how old they are or what they're made of or who manufactured them or for what reason. Similar things were made for the bicentennial of Washington's birthday in the Thirties, but I don't know if these came from that, or later, or earlier, or what. George is a definite silver color, but Martha has a slight copper cast to her. Both colors may have been painted over something else as far as I know, but this whole paragraph is just to assure you I DON'T know. So don't ask me. If you're an expert in such things you already know more than I do about them.


If you're a big fan of the father of our country, or poor ignored second-fiddle Martha, or if you're just into old plaques or wall hangings or portraits or silhouettes or whatever you want to call them, perhaps these babies are for you! And save room on that wall for your Certificate of Craptacularity, too. Not that I think George and Martha are REALLY crap; I rather like them, and in fact it somewhat bothers me that Martha is portrayed in a less than lovely (though maybe more true-to life, and--who knows--perhaps even complimentary) manner. But *I* don't want them. I have no place for them. It's not like I have a wall in my house dedicated to the American Revolution or Presidents and First Ladies or something. So come buy these two and take them off my hands. And then start a trend for giving people gifts on Independence Day! Because Mojo likes receiving gifts. Just not these, okay? Thanks.