Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2016
    3rd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,174

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Dec 3, 2016 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 June 8 - 9 Books Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search