Description

    "Merchant Captain Gentleman"

    Cigar Store Tobacconist's Trade Figure, Probably from the Workshop of Samuel Robb. Measuring 68" tall including the 16" square base, this Merchant Captain Gentleman, with an empty hand resting on his coat and wearing a cap with an anchor insignia, would have stood at the door beckoning tobacco enthusiasts into the store. Nice blue paint over wood showing little signs of restoration, the figure has obvious cracking to the wood in numerous spots as you might expect. A metal plate near the hem of the jacket on the back was probably used to secure the figure to the front of the store. The figures right arm down to his side is clutching perhaps a tobacco plug, but hard to tell since the wood has dried, lost paint, and cracked.

    This is an excellent example of this seldom seen Tobacconist's figure. We have only found record of one having sold through auction at Parke-Bernet Galleries in 1956 in "The Haffenreffer Collection of Cigar Store Indians and Other American Trade Signs" Part Two.

    Samuel Anderson Robb (1851-1928) was a New York sculptor known mostly for his carved wooden figures made for tobacco shops. He was the son of a Scottish shipwright and was apprenticed to a shipbuilder for five years before going to work for a wood-carver while attending classes at the National Academy of Design and Cooper Union. He then went to work carving tobacco figures for William Demuth and opened his own shop in 1876. His workshop was the largest of the period in New York City; he turned out traditional cigar store Indians as well as circus wagons and ventriloquist dummies before shutting it down in 1903.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    18th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,251

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