CARVED CHERRY AND MAPLE FIGURAL GROUP OF A FARMER AND WIFE, HORSE AND SLEIGH, VERMONT, CIRCA 1885
With brass, copper and leather fittings.
Height 11 ¾ in. by Width 27 ½ in. by Depth 6 ¾ in.
In overall fine condition. Feet of figures previously glued down in front seat of sleigh. Light dappled staining on figures. Front legs of horse are made of two pieces but appear to be original. Leather straps on horse under chin strap of bridal broken off. Light abrasions to horse mane.
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In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Kinnaman & Ramaekers, Bridgehampton, New York;
Brenda and Ken Fritz, Los Angeles;
Allan Katz, Woodbridge, Connecticut;
Susan and Raymond Egan, Princeton, New Jersey;
Olde Hope Antiques, Inc., New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Although the carver of this figural group has not been identified, several other closely related early-twentieth-century pieces, all with northern Vermont origins, are known. They include a multi-figure Catholic winter funeral procession in the collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum (see Robert Bishop, American Folk Sculpture, (New York: Dutton, 1974), p. 196-7), a pioneer couple and oxcart in the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum, a camel and driver, a figure of Buffalo Bill Cody beside his horse, and two painted harness racers, one of which is in the collection of the American Museum in Bath, England. Like the man here, many of the carver's skillfully rendered figures have articulated arms. This well-dressed couple was probably intended to depict a journey to church. The sleigh is a form of French-Canadian cariole, with a simple high-backed body and bench seat set on wooden runners. The man's cap also suggests a French-Canadian influence, which was common so close to the Canadian border.