DescriptionA Large, Powerful "Cigar Store Indian" Attributed to the Workshop of Samuel Robb. Standing fully eight feet tall including base, this majestic warrior is in a unique style: In his left hand he holds an actual Springfield-type musket, as made. Undoubtedly the incorporation of an actual firearm must have given this particular type of Indian a particularly realistic presence! It is elaborately carved, with a second bundle of cigars in the crook of his arm and an animal pelt worn regally over the right shoulder.
From 1876 throughout the early 1900s Robb's workshop was prolific, turning out tobacconist's figures not only in the form of Indians (clearly the most popular), but also firemen, baseball players, theatrical figures, officers, historical figures and more. Many of his works were unsigned, but the attribution of the present example to Robb is supported by the juxtaposition on a page from a F. R. Rice & Co., St. Louis sales catalog of this identical Indian with a figure of a Sir Walter Raleigh-type figure featured in a Robb advertisement. The dimensions of the figure offered here conform precisely to those listed in the Rice catalog.
The Indian is in excellent display condition. As would be expected the musket shows a weathered patina developed over years of exposure to the elements standing in front of a tobacconist's shop.
The Indian itself has no significant damage or apparent indications of restoration. According to the consignor it was painted several decades ago, in the correct colors, by a conservator who specialized in such figures. The trapezoidal base is a recent re-creation, faithful to the original construction and mounted on correct period iron wheels. Again: simply terrific display appearance!
Please see our website for related images of Robb's workshop from Artists in Wood by Frederick Fried, a copy of which is being sold as part of this lot.
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