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    Description

    Highly Sought Demuth's Smoking Punch

    Rare Punch Cigar Store Advertising Figure Cast in Zinc, Circa 1885. Standing 18.5" tall, this figure depicts the Lord of Misrule, Punch. With cigars in one hand, the figure seemingly beckons the shopper to buy a cigar. Cast into the base it the following: " Wm. Demuth & Co. Manufacturers New York". Demuth, well known as a distributor of carved pipes and cigar store trade figures, formed a partnership in 1863 with a Brooklyn foundry operator, Moritz Seelig, to produce cast metal trade figures to sell through Demuth's catalog alongside the standard wooden figures that had been so popular. The metal figures, although more expensive, were described in the catalog as being made of zinc so as they were not subject to "cracking from exposure to climatic changes." This example, although worn, retains its original paint with much of its patina still present, especially on the gold-colored decoration. It's an honest and clean example with no retouching or repair. Punch still has his original cigar hanging, clinched between his teeth. His back is fitted with a metal tube for making puffs of smoke flow through his cigar.

    Over time many other figures were made by Demuth, but the Punch figure remains the most difficult example to acquire. The last recorded sale was a very fine example that realized $180,000 in 2008.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Nov-Dec, 2011
    30th-1st Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,503

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