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Details & Cataloguing

The History of Now: The Important American Folk Art Collection of David Teiger | Sold to Benefit Teiger Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art

|
New York

Centaur
American School, 19th century
molded copper weathervane with gold leaf
Height 19 in. by Length 39 in.
Probably Massachusetts
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Provenance

Maurice Cohen, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan;
Hill Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan;
Edmund Fuller, Woodstock, New York;
James Kronen, New York;
Hill Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.

Literature

Kenneth Fitzgerald, Weathervanes and Whirligigs (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1967) p. 102;
Steve Miller, The Art of the Weathervane (Exton, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 1984) p. 65;
Robert Bishop and Patricia Coblenz, A Gallery of American Weathervanes and Whirligigs (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1981) p. 84;
Tom Geismar and Harvey Kahn, Spiritually Moving:  A Collection of American Folk Art Sculpture (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998) cat. no. 69, illus. in color.

Catalogue Note

While this powerful form has often been attributed to A.L. Jewell of Waltham, Massachusetts, the centaur form he made and illustrated in a broadside is quite different and far less refined and muscular than this example. One of Jewell's centaurs, which he called an Archer, is in the collection of the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, along with a receipt for its sale signed by Jewell. The Heritage Museums also own an example of this vane form, as do the Shelburne Museum and American Folk Art Museum. The form was also recorded in a watercolor for the Index of American Design.

Centaurs were a race of Greek mythological creatures that combined the torso, head, and arms of a human with the lower body, legs, and tail of a horse. Most Greek images of centaurs do not include a bow and arrow, but Sagittarius, the centaur who represents the ninth sign of the astrological Zodiac, has always been depicted as an archer drawing an arrow in his bow.

The History of Now: The Important American Folk Art Collection of David Teiger | Sold to Benefit Teiger Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art

|
New York