GROUP OF FOLK ART CARVED ARCHITECTURAL TOWER WHIMSEYS
Origin: American Folk Art, Los Angeles (Provenance: From the estate of an expert clock/ watchmaker in Los Angeles, by descent through the family)
Period/Date: Circa 1910-1920
Materials: medium density hardwood
Description: Before selling tribal artifacts I specialized in Antiques and American Folk Art like this. The original carver of these whimsey sculptures was a watchmaker and this is how he spent his free time when not working. Each is unique and a demonstration of patience and carving skill and virtuosity. They have architectural-like qualities of building, tower clocks and chairs. From left to right. The tallest one with roof spire has 7 caged balls with a rotating spindle and caged ball in the center. In addition, it has 4 retracting feet. Since even one small mistake would render the carving ruined, the craftsman couldn't make any errors. This kind of activity was tedious and impossible to most, yet was clearly a meditation and source of peace and inspiration to this unknown artist. The "center" one has 15 free formed independently carved caged balls. The one one the "right" has a chair-like base with an independently carved cone inside a spindle cage. Above is a large free floating symmetrical ball having another 5 caged balls above (one inside the spire). This one is the coolest and most quirky to me with since it has a cant and cantilever incorporated into its design. In superb condition considering their age and delicate nature. Just look at the negative space and how much material, in just the right places, was removed to create them!
Dimensions: Height 8.75"- 12" (22.5- 31 cm), Width 1 3/8- 3.5" (3.5- 9 cm)
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