Sitting Bull Cigar Store Indian Statue Vtg Native American Tobacco Totem Humidor
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Sitting Bull Cigar Store Indian Statue Vtg Native American Tobacco Totem Humidor:
Samuel Anderson Robb (1851–1928)Indian Warrior ~ Circa 1885Life-size Cigar Store Indian Countertop Store Display
Pictured here next to a standard size 19th century Tobacco humidor.
Early American folk art at it's very finest. 19th century lifelike Tobacco store prop.He was designed to sit onthe counter and interact withcustomers, giving thema menacing glance asthey nervously made theirpurchases! We are attributing the carving to Samuel A. Robb of New YorkCity who is bestknown for hiscigar store indian& circus carvings.
Hisred, white & blue, circusy and cigar-shaped braids identifyhim as American Plains Indian.Chief Sitting Bull was one ofthe most photographed people in the World. Those photos (always with both braids forward) were most certainly the inspiration for thisbust: Sitting Bull,the fierce young warrior,as he would haveappearedat the battle ofLittle Bighorn. Because of Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull went on to become the Star of a circus, "Buffalo Bill's Wild West". The bigger-than-life,cigar smoking,Buffalo Bill Cody wasthe ultimateentrepreneur and boxes of Buffalo Bill, Col. Cody, Gen. Custerand Sitting Bull cigars weresold undernumerous cowboy & indian brand names. Mostnotably throughNew York City's Foster-Hilson & Co., located on the same islandand just 3miles from the workshop of Samuel A. Robb.
$1,500,000.00 US ($1.5mil)
Original paint, as it left the artist's studio.Online you can view close-ups of Robb's Lord Dundreary and it's a close match to this carving, the hair, etc, thoughours, with his eyes full of life, menacingscowl and carved hairy eyebrows isfar superior. But what most separatesthis carving from his Lord Dundreary, and all other trade carvings,is that they were given fresh coats of paint each year, losingthe detailed carving.The original studio paint sets ours apart from all others (*Santa aside).
A tobacciana /circus crossover andtrue historic figure,superior carving and original paint:surelyone offinest& most important Cigar Store Indians everto reacha public market.Remarkable condition with minor dings and minorwear to 16 1/2"tall. The stash box/humidor is shallow at about1 1/2"deep. Shippingwill be $14.95 to any U.S. zipcode ($45.00 foreign).
NOTE: our asking price reflects what Robb carvings (or better) bring at the major sale houses: Indian Princess ($750,000.00) ~ Santa ($875,000.00). Arrangements can be made if,prior to purchase, you, or your appraiser, would like to examinethe piece in person.We can meet anywhere in the greaterPuget Soundarea.
There wereasmall number of late 19th century, 2nd generation, trade-figure carvers that could have carved this bust. Of those carvers, Robbstands out asthe most logical choice. Original paint is unheard-of, Robb's *Santa is a rare exception. Online, a majorsalesite lets you magnify his Santa carving and when comparing the detailed hair lines in Santa's beard to the hair lines on our carving, most would agree, our carving stands out as far superior. And again, around the eyes our piece is far superior. So, while almost certainly circa 1885 (Sitting Bull's circus period), the superior carving would suggest that our by a 1st generationmaster ship-carversuch asThomas V. Brooks (d.1895) or Wilhelm C. Demuth (d.1911). Robb apprenticed under both.
Another possibility is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Sitting Bull toured with Buffalo Bill in 1885 but, out of respect for Custer's widow, Buffalo Bill didn't start reenacting the Battle of Little Bighorn (the death of Custer scene) until 1888. The Mercer Museum holds a weathered-outdoor Buffalo Bill 'cigar store indian' and that carving very-much resembles our bust in that it is also 'lifelike'(were they carved as a set?). The Mercer believes their carvingstood in front of a PhiladelphiaTobacco shopduring Buffalo Bill's Wild West Pennsylvania tour in 1899 and are attributing the carving to one of three carvers: Samuel H. Sailor, James Brown or Francis Jacob Deker. Did our carving sit on the interior counter of that same store?The 19th century Yellowstone geyser painting seenin the photo aboveis not included in this sale. It was painted in 1885 by an early American explorer on a very large & rarest cigar box lid.The paintingis also for saleso be sure tovisit our store where we are currently offering a nice selection of several other hugely important and historically significant pieces of Art. A five pound sterling silver "Bug Basket" from Buckingham Palace, the most-prized possession of the last reigning monarch of The Kingdom of Hawai'i, an artifact from The White House and Porcellian Club (the birthplace of Facebook), the first man to the moon's 1st appearance in Space and an authentic Witch coven's serving charger are but a few of our most interesting pieces.
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