In the Manner of Julius Theodore Melchers
Hand Carved American Tobacconist Cigar Store Indian. It was
the American Indian who first brought tobacco to the white
settlers. Much later, that same colorfully-dressed Indian could be
seen beckoning patrons into cigar stores. In the manner of Cigar
Store Indians carved by Julius Melchers, this statue captures the
great detail Melchers was known for. Melchers immigrated to the U.
S. from Prussia in 1848 and became well known for his use of live
Indian subjects for his detailed carvings. This tobacconist figure
wearing a bear claw necklace and medallion with colorful polychrome
paint exhibits Melcher's attention to detail and appears to be
mostly original. The features are so distinct that you feel you are
in the presence of a great Indian chief. A darkened patina overall
the Chief is exquisite in his dress. One can easily appreciate the
work it took to create this nostalgic, iconic piece of Americana.
The wear to the form is typical for its age, with some cracking to
the wood carved hand and around the raised folds of his dress.
Wearing a pelt over his right shoulder, the carved eyes of the
animal show its resignation to being a decorative but necessary
piece of clothing. The figure is holding a block of tobacco in one
hand as he stands straight and proud. Several of the feathers in
his head dress have had some professional repair but the work is
hard to detect. Just for accuracy there are a few places of over
paint on the shoulders and the dress and it appears the war paint
on the face may have been added at some point.
This is one of the finest Tobacconist figures we have sold to date. Nice surface, a solid carving by an early artist of the period.
Please view this lot on our website for a series of additional photos that will allow detailed examination and evaluation of its condition. 67.5" Tall.
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