DescriptionThomas Brooks: Cigar Store Indian Tobacconist, "Brooks Leaner". One of the most important New York carvers of trade signs was Thomas Brooks. Known to have apprenticed with ship and figure carver John Cromwell, Brooks opened his own shop in 1848 on South Street, specializing in show or trade figures. By 1872 Brooks employed 6 and kept an inventory of 75 to 100 figures on hand at all times. Many of his figures were oversized, imposing statues. Therefore, to help support the weight, Brooks used a carved tree stump on which the figure could lean. This became his signature. The carving offered here is 68" high, a life size figure of an Indian Chief with full headdress holding cigars, with the chief leaning on a tree stump and thus titled "Leaner." Truly, a commanding figure retaining much of the original paint with some professional restoration to the tree trunk and minor repair to the headdress feathers. Standing on a contemporary base with wheels, the figure is a total of 78" in all.
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