Folk Art Carved Bird Tree, ca. 1900
I was at an auction in Tonganoxie four or five years ago, and I saw it there and I just thought it was neat, and I'd waited around all day and finally it got to be sold. It started out at a... Well, they asked ten dollars for it. I went back and forth between a lady up to $20. I said, "$50." She said, "It's cool, but not that cool," and walked off. And I don't know anything else about it, really. It was just in a shed out behind the house.
In a local auction here?
Yeah, about 25 miles west of here, I guess.
It's an awesome, awesome piece of American folk art.
It belongs to the tradition of bird trees that you usually find in Pennsylvanian German carving, but it's a great kind of composition. It could exist anywhere. It's really hard to know exactly where this is made. Most likely locally. It's got so many birds, it has little vignettes of things happening. Here's a mother robin feeding her young. Some of the positions of these birds are really beautifully done.
That one that's turned around.
With the head turned. I mean, this guy was a master carver. Probably dates to late 19th, early 20th century. It has a little bit of an Adirondack feel with the way that these pieces are put together. It's got an untouched surface to it. Looks like the birds are carved from pine and painted. It is a beautiful thing. Conservatively, an auction estimate would be in the range of $6,000 to $8,000, but if I can make a little bit of a pun here, it could really take off, and I'll go out on a limb and say, you know, it could bring closer to $10,000 at auction.
And what I would recommend to you is that you get these pieces back on the tree. The beauty of the piece is in the completeness of it.
All right. Thank you.
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