Peter Ompir Large Tole Painted Tray

Published on 11 April 2024 at 11:55

Peter Ompir (1904-1979), who painted this lovely, long tin tray, is considered one of America's foremost folk artists. He began his career during the 1930's painting portraits but was unable to make any money at it. He then began painting household items and sold them through an agent who persuaded Neiman-Marcus, Macy's and other prominent stores to carry his works, where they sold extremely well. He painted both used and new objects of wood, metal and even furniture, always managing to create a charming antique look with his use of colors and designs. This tray is an outstanding example of his work.

Measuring 21 1/2 inches long, 9 1/2 inches top to bottom and 1 1/2 inches high, the tray is painted on the front in a warm mustard color with red trim around the rim and the cutout handle on each end. It's decorated with a central group of fruit consisting of a large melon, clusters of green grapes, grape leaves and tendrils. Peter Ompir used many coats of antiquing to mellow the bright paint colors he mixed himself, very evident on this piece. Often his designs were playful but this still life is simply a work of art. It's understandable that in the 1970's, his pieces were selling for hundreds of dollars. They are a wonderful investment still, especially large pieces like this one in excellent vintage condition and signed on the back. There is wear to the paint on the upper front edges; on the green-painted reverse side there are small areas of missing paint with light rust to the edges and a couple of other spots. The signature is intact and authentic.

This beautiful Peter Ompir folk art tray will be cherished for generations to come.

This item is sold.

Information by Linda Henrich

Pictures by Wayne Henrich

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