Carved Texas Folk Art Box, ca. 1890
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:51)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
Ken Farmer Auctions, LLC
GUEST: Well, this is Josie Wade. Josie Wade worked for my dad's family from the time he was an infant. She helped raise him, essentially. And I know that she was born in 1884 in Tyler, Texas. And this box was hers from her father. Her father carved it. And when she passed away, she had never had any children of her own, so my dad and aunt were kind of like her kids that she helped raise, and she left everything she had to them. And that's how we got the box. This is obviously the... not the work of an amateur. So I don't know if he made his living carving, or we don't know much about him.
APPRAISER: Had he been in Texas for a long time?
GUEST: According to her birth certificate, her father, Mingo McQueen, was born in Mississippi. But at the time that she was born in 1884, they lived in Tyler.
APPRAISER: Well, right off the bat, it has eye appeal. It could be 1880s, 1890s. I don't think it's much later than that, but there's really no way to know for sure. But the thing that he was able to do is articulate this carving. And he started out with a solid piece of wood and carved this in relief all the way down through here. None of this is applied.
APPRAISER: Absolutely no shortcuts in what he was doing. And what takes this to the next level, in my opinion, is the fact that it has the Alamo on it.
APPRAISER: A great piece of Texas history and Texas imagery. It's made out of walnut. Which would have been a nice, even-grained wood and not impossibly hard to carve. But executed immaculately. That whole front panel there with the Alamo is just amazing. I love these folky, sort of bulbous trees. I mean, he even has a rope carving on the front. Just an amazing image altogether. And the other thing that makes it so great is the fact that it's untouched. Nobody has ever tried to shine it up, take the old finish off of it. You can even see where it's probably been in rooms, through generations, where they painted the rooms. And the paint got flecks down on it when they were painting the walls.
APPRAISER: Well, have you ever given much thought to what this is worth?
GUEST: No. No, we've always just treasured it because it was, you know, special because of the family connection and then just because it's pretty.
APPRAISER: At the folk art table, we talked about it. And we felt like that a retail value on this would be $3,000 to $5,000.
GUEST: Wow. That's... Wow.
APPRAISER: That's something for a family memento, isn't it?
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