Monday, February 8, 2010

Cabinet Card of Folk Art Carving

(Above) Cabinet card, c. 1880 (click image for larger view)

(Above) Detail (click for larger view)

(Above) Back of Cabinet Card (click for larger view)

IF YOU LIKE PHOTOGRAPHY AND FOLK ART (like I do), here’s a two’fer for you. A 4” x 6-1/2” photograph, taken about 1880, of a rare folk art carving by Asa Carpenter (1834 - ?). It is a Civil War carving of General grant on his horse surrounded by three Union soldiers and a field cannon carved from what appears to be a single piece of wood. The seller of this cabinet card says that, though little is known about this artist, an actual carving of a sow and young piglets realized $44,460 at the October 25, 2008 Pook and Pook Auction in Pennsylvania. It is not known if this carving exists or has been lost through time.

The seller was able to learn that Carpenter was born in Niagara, Canada on September 8, 1834, the 6th of 11 children by Asa Philopilus Carpenter and Margaret Ullman. Early in his life he was involved in the lumber industry before becoming known as an artist and sculptor. Various locations that note his residence include Howard City, Michigan; Crystal Valley, Michigan; and Scottsville, Michigan, possibly in that order.

The photographer of this cabinet card was Samuel L. Sharpsteen (b. 1850 - ?) and is being sold on eBay here.

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