Monday, October 13, 2008

19th century Folk Art Carving of a Grotesque

Sold for $7,000.00 at James D. Julia.

Here's the auction house description:

UNUSUAL CARVED FOLK ART FIGURE OF A GROTESQUE MAN. Possibly a parade effigy, the oversized head grotesquely carved with pointed ears, irregular teeth, oversized nose and brow, with protruding blue eyes, the sculpted hair painted brown. Clothed in green tailcoat buttoned at the front to a winged collar. The arms nailed in a backswept position, the legs with gray pantaloons outstretched in a forward position as if the figure were meant to be in a semi-reclining/seated position. Demeanor of the carving is not dissimilar to a grotesque wooden puppet carving. SIZE: 36" overall l. PROVENANCE: From the McCormick Estate in Chicago. It is believed that this figure was perhaps an effigy or parade figure, originating from the Haymarket Labor Riots of 1884. It is from this conflict that the concept of a 40-hour work week and the Labor Day holiday originated. CONDITION: Retains original old surfaces, with original paint. Large segment of nose missing, both ears missing a section. Piece of winged collar also missing. Legs and arms now nailed to body. Large part of each foot missing. Nail on back between shoulders, probably functioned as a hanger for figure.


JoeyD said...

Joey, check out my blog serpent lady. I found a somewhat similar carving.

Joey said...

Wow, that's a strange figure. Wonder what it was used for? Possibly similar to the Grotesque and used as a parade figure?