1939 Folk Art Blacksmith Shop Diorama

Value (2013) | $5,000 Retail$10,000 Retail

Depicted here at the anvil is my great-great-grandfather, Nathan Spratt. This entire diorama is a representation of his blacksmith shop. It was built by his father in 1866.

And where was it located?

This was built in Richwood, Ohio. This diorama was made by a local jeweler in Richwood, Ohio, by the name of Mr. Adams.

This is your grandfather at the anvil, and how long did he work as a blacksmith?

He started at approximately 12 years of age, which would have been about 1863. He worked all the way until 1942, almost 80 years as a blacksmith.

It's just a wonderful depiction of what a blacksmith's shop would look like. Talk to me about the Liars' Bench.

My grandfather was an avid racehorse race man. He raced across Ohio, in the Midwest, and depicted here are two of his fellow cohorts in the race industry, Mr. Sparks and Mr. Shimmer. They would gather from around the central part of Ohio to basically tell tall tales and stories. And it became the public meeting place of the racehorse people.

Everything centered around the center of town, whether it was the blacksmith's shop, the drugstore, the local restaurant. This is truly a great piece of American heritage, but it's also a great piece of folk art. If this was on the market at an antiques show, I could see dealers asking anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for this piece.

(laughs) Wow. That I didn't expect.

Appraisal Details

Northeast Auctions
Portsmouth, NH
Appraised value (2013)
$5,000 Retail$10,000 Retail
Detroit, MI (June 01, 2013)

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