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August 2017 M.A.D. Gallery Pages  1 | 2 | 3

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Tobacconist Figure,
Show Window Carving, Comical Bust,
Samuel Robb, New York City, Circa 1875ish’

A rare and important carved and polychrome tobacconist figure created for show window display, seducing the attention of passersby…the figure remains in very good original condition. There are very few extant figures known.

A hatted gentleman, right arm raised; clutching cigars, left arm relaxed; his hand with extended finger; the subject wears a dark blue coat and a high collared white shirt, his white shirtsleeves extending past the red trimmed coat cuff; a full cravat is tied in a bow that is painted red to match his cap.

See Artists in Wood by Frederick Fried, page 53, figure 68, for a reprint of Demuth’s catalog that features the “Comical Bust”, a metal show figure for the window.
It is known that Samuel Robb carved the mold used to produce Demuth’s Comical Bust. Samuel Robb’s shop also produced a comical figure in wood; sporting a liberty cap. Fried states that “these busts were also made in wood by the Robb shop. One such figure is in a private collection and still another is owned by a New York Second Avenue antiques dealer. In both metal and wood they were painted to life.”

(The figure remains in scarcely encountered original paint, no restoration; generally very good condition; scattered minor paint losses, any other small imperfections consistent with age and use. (H: 23.5”; W: 19”; D: 10.5”)



For further information, contact David Hillier or 978 597-8084.

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