VERY RARE POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED CAST ZINC TOBACCONIST 'RISING STAR' TRADE FIGURE, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM DEMUTH (1835-1911), NEW YORK, CIRCA 1874
VERY RARE POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED CAST ZINC TOBACCONIST 'RISING STAR' TRADE FIGURE, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM DEMUTH (1835-1911), NEW YORK, CIRCA 1874
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VERY RARE POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED CAST ZINC TOBACCONIST 'RISING STAR' TRADE FIGURE, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM DEMUTH (1835-1911), NEW YORK, CIRCA 1874

Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 USD

VERY RARE POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED CAST ZINC TOBACCONIST 'RISING STAR' TRADE FIGURE, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM DEMUTH (1835-1911), NEW YORK, CIRCA 1874

Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 USD

Lot Sold:30,000USD

Lot Details

Description

VERY RARE POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED CAST ZINC TOBACCONIST 'RISING STAR' TRADE FIGURE, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM DEMUTH (1835-1911), NEW YORK, CIRCA 1874


in "theatrical attire" with draped skirt and high button shoes. Base inscribed 1860

Three feathers restored.


Height 73 ½ in. by Width 15 ¾ in. by Depth 20 in.

Condition Report

Top Three feathers restored.


To request further information for this lot, please email americana@sothebys.com. Please note, however, detailed condition reports and photographs will be available starting September 30th after property arrives at Sotheby’s.


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.

Cataloguing

Provenance

Allan Katz, Woodbridge, Connecticut

Literature

An example is pictured in Illustrated Catalogue of Smokers' Articles and Show Figures, Manufactured and Imported by Wm. Demuth & Co., 1875, no. 62.  A facsimile is reproduced by Frederick Fried in Artists in Wood: American Carvers of Cigar-Store Indians, Show Figures, and Circus Wagons, (New York: Bramhall House, 1970), p. 48, fig. 31.

Catalogue Note

William Demuth, a German immigrant who became one of America’s largest and most successful distributors of tobacco, pipes, and trade figures, claimed that his cast zinc figures were superior to wooden pieces that cracked “from exposure to climatic changes.” This rare figure, depicting a Native American woman dressed in a provocatively short, patriotically colored costume and buttoned, high-topped boots rather than traditional Indian garb, may represent a stage performer. She is pictured in Demuth’s 1875 catalog of thirty tobacconist figures and originally sold for $65.00. Samuel Robb, who worked for Demuth before he opened his own shop, is believed to have carved the model for this piece.

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