Folk Art Carved Canes by Robert H. Craig
Appraised Value: $20,600 - $25,800
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:36)
Folk Art, Furniture
Allan Katz Americana
GUEST: I brought in a couple of walking sticks that I purchased a couple of years ago here in town out of an estate. I've collected walking sticks for a long time, but I like folk art as well, and these sort of were a crossover and let me have the best of both.
APPRAISER: They're both signed. It's not a known carver. And usually for walking sticks, we say they're one and done.
APPRAISER: So a carver makes a cane for his own personal use and possibly has a little bit about himself on the cane, and then he never makes another cane again. And this one is signed by the maker, Robert H. Craig. And it's dated 1881.
APPRAISER: And we get to know a little bit about Mr. Craig in the fact that we have on here the Masonic emblem, and up here we have a carved Holy Bible, some animals, a fish, a shoe. It's a very nice cane. What's unique about these two is we have one that is made in 1881...
APPRAISER: and then we flash forward 21 years later...
APPRAISER: and we have one that's signed by Mr. Craig in 1902. We see his progression as an artist. And that is so terrific, and it's so rare that these two would have stayed together. This was done from a larger piece of wood and carved down, and the symbols and the animals on here are really extraordinary in terms of American folk art. He painted the background with a polychrome paint.
APPRAISER: And left all the animals unpainted.
GUEST: The finish has never been touched, as far as I know.
APPRAISER: These are totally original.
APPRAISER: Now, in terms of valuation, what did you pay for them at the estate?
GUEST: Well, for me, it was a lot of money and more than I've ever paid for a cane before. I think I paid $200 apiece for them.
APPRAISER: $200 apiece. Okay. Well, I think you did okay. I think that this cane over here, the earlier work, would be valued in the folk art marketplace somewhere in the $600 to $800 range.
APPRAISER: Okay. This one over here, we use the expression "It escapes the form." (laughs) Okay, so we look at this, we see a cane. If you look at this, it's much more than a cane. It's really almost a totem of American folk carving. I'm going to place a retail value on it somewhere in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.
GUEST: Hoo-rah! Wow! I wasn't expecting that at all.
APPRAISER: This is one of the best ones I've ever seen.
GUEST: Wow. That's great. That's amazing. I wasn't expecting that at all.
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