Saturday, November 10, 2007

Calvin Black Possum Trot Figure Sells For $ 82,500.00!!!

This Calvin Black Possum Trot figure just sold for a hammer price of $ 82,500.00 at the Slotin auction! I know the folk art market has been pretty heated over the last few years, but this one really surprised me. It wasn't long ago that Christie's Robert Greenberg Collection of Folk Art came to market with just so-so results and a similar figure sold for $ 13,145.00 (as listed in Slotin's description). Slotin had an estimate of $ 6,000-12,000) for this one. Some very happy people at that auction house right now.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Joey -- I saw the auction results, too. I'm a doll history buff, and wonder if you know where I can find images of Black's entire set of life-size figures?

Joey said...

Hi Bambi,

That's a good question, I wish I knew the answer. I don't know of any definitive catalog of Calvin and Ruby Black's work and I'm not sure if one is being planned. From what I can tell, the definitive source right now is the film made by Allie Light and Irving Saraf called The Life and Work of Calvin Black, 1903-1972. Other than that, I've just found various photos in catalogues like the Robert Greenberg Collection auction at Christies and some of Ricco/Maresca's books on American Primitive sculpture.

Joey said...

Hey Bambi,

Here's a pretty cool link:

Sid Taylor said...

I knew Cal and Ruby Black. I lived behind him on the road between Yermo and Calico Ghost Town. I think he would be surprised at his current fame. He told Ruby to burn his dolls when he passed away. I took photos but not as many as I wish I had. It was a pleasure to hear him play his guitar and sing to give voice to his creations. He had his "Bird Cage Theatre" and would mimic all sorts of voices while his mechanical dolls danced and road ponies.
Most folks would just buzz on by on up to Calico, never bothering to investigate this fascinating place he called Possum Trot. He was from the south. There are no possums where his place once stood. In fact the whole thing was razed to the ground and everything carted-off. You only live once. I sure miss them. "We don't know where mom is but we got pop on ice". And so he did - Nehi grape soda and the like. He never asked me to pay for a cool drink. He was an avowed communist and one of the finest old coots I've ever known.

Joey said...

Hi Sid,

That's a great remembrance! I'm sure they would both be surprised as to the attention and fame that is accorded to the work now.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Syd: Can you post your pictures online for us? I would lover to see them. Stephen Romano