Lot 1204
  • 1204

CAPTAIN JINKSPROBABLY BY THOMAS J. WHITE(1825-1905) | Captain JinksProbably by Thomas J. White(1825-1905)

400,000 - 600,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • carved and polychromed pine with metal ornaments
  • Height 83 1/2 in. by Width 19 in. by Depth 20 in.
  • circa 1880
retains the original base


Walters-Benisek Art and Antiques, Northampton, Massachusetts.


Art & Auction, December 1994, p. 81;
Tom Geismar and Harvey Kahn, Spiritually Moving:  A Collection of American Folk Art Sculpture (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998) cat. no. 75, illus. in color;
Ralph Session, The Shipcarvers' Art, Figureheads and Cigar-Store Indians in Nineteenth-Century America, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005), pl. 104, p. 168, illus. in color.

Catalogue Note

“Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines” was a satirical music hall song that became immensely popular after it was published in Brooklyn in 1868. Delivered by the comically pretentious and inept title character, it was a favorite of soldiers of the time, who sang along with its chorus:

I’m Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,

I give my horse good corn and beans,
Of course ’tis quite beyond my means,
Though a Captain in the army. The highly skilled figure carver Thomas J. White worked for a time in the shop of the renowned Samuel Anderson Robb and is said to have used the master as his model for his several carvings of Captain Jinks. Other examples of White’s Captain Jinks are in the collections of the Newark Museum (New Jersey), the Shelburne Museum (Vermont), and the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.), while a fourth was depicted for the Index of American Design.