Musical Folk Art: Instruments and Musical Related

 Folk art, antiques, and outsider art 

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Hand made double washtub bass
Hand made double
washtub stand up bass
Folky hand made tin can banjo
Folky tin can banjo
Cherokee dulcimer
Cherokee design carved
and decorated dulcimer
Carved band by Mattingly
One of two carved bands by "Hog" Mattingly
Carved band
Another carved band by "Hog" Mattingly
Carved band
Carved band of musicians
Bottle cap rabbits jazz band
Bottle cap rabbits jazz band
Bottle whimsey with musicians, domino players, pig roast
Cuban bottle whimsey:
pig roast, musicians, domino game
Home made one-string bass
Home made one-string bass
Metal drummer music box
"Age of Aquarius"
found object music box
Mardi gras
Mardi Gras musical
folk art
Drummer whirligig
Drummer whirligig
Carving of fiddler
Fiddle Player: 1 of 3 carvings
by Jack Eichbaum of TN
Religious stereo nightlight construction
Religious radio/cassette player
nightlight construction
Sombrero
Mariachi sombrero:
one of several

Hand made double washtub bassThis is a beautiful home made stand up bass and an amusing take on the old "washtub bass". It was built from wood and two metal washtubs, in the form of a classical acoustic bass. Both tubs have a rusty surface with remnants of silver paint. The bottom of the smaller tub was perforated with small holes like a colander. The bottom of the larger tub is somewhat dented. The bass has three strings, with hand made wooden pegs. It stands 54" high by 18" wide by about 10" deep. It was probably made in the 1930's or 40's, but could be a bit more recent. The price is $625.00. Inventory Code: CTWT.   Hand made double washtub bass ... Back views ... Side views ... Closeup ... Closeup, lower ... Closeup from side ... Closeup from back ... Other side ... Lower, from back ... Lower, other side ... Back, from above ... Head and neck ... Head and neck, one side ... Head and neck, back ... Head and neck, other side ... From above ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Hand made double washtub bass ... Back views ... Side views ... Closeup ... Closeup, lower ... Closeup from side ... Closeup from back ... Other side ... Lower, from back ... Lower, other side ... Back, from above ... Head and neck ... Head and neck, one side ... Head and neck, back ... Head and neck, other side ... From above ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.

Cherokee dulcimerThis is a hand made eight string dulcimer with Cherokee themed carved and painted decoration. The top is a carved Indian chief's head, the tuning pegs are carved into arrowheads, the sound holes are arrow shaped cutouts, and the top, sides, and back are painted with Indian motifs. The back is inscribed "Cherokee" in ballpoint ink. It is 40 1/2" long by 6 1/2" wide by 3" deep and appears to be from about the 1950's or 60's. The condition is very good with minor wear. One peg looks like an older replacement. The price is $750.00. Inventory Code: CCHC.   Cherokee decorated dulcimer, two views ... Three more angles ... Two closeups of the head ... Side views ... End views ... Back views ... Two more views of the head ... The head, from above ... Two closeups of the lower half ... Two closeups of the middle ... Closeup of the bridge and tailpiece ... Closeup of the back ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Cherokee decorated dulcimer, two views ... Three more angles ... Two closeups of the head ... Side views ... End views ... Back views ... Two more views of the head ... The head, from above ... Two closeups of the lower half ... Two closeups of the middle ... Closeup of the bridge and tailpiece ... Closeup of the back ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.

Mardi Gras folk artHere is an exceptional piece of musical folk art, apparently made for Carnival/Mardi Gras. It has five carved figures - a guitar player on top surrounded by four dancers. The figures have bright flannel and ribbon clothes, yarn hair for the women, and yarn and metal foil decorations on the men's hat's. Some kind of seeds were set in as eyes. The mounting is decorated with faded crepe paper strips - originally red and white.

The figures are mounted on a bamboo pole that slides up and down on a shaft. As it moves, the four dancers flex, hand carved castanets attached to their backs clatter, and tambourine discs jangle. The pole and handle are both hand carved. One of the four sets of castanets is missing, as well as one eye each on two of the figures. Otherwise the condition is excellent. This piece is French Canadian. It is 30 1/2" high when the handle is fully extended. The section with the figures measure 12 1/2" high by 13 1/2" by 14 1/2". It was probably made about the 1940's. The price is $850.00. Inventory Code: AAWP.   Image ... Right side ...Left side ... Back/right ... Back/left ... Slid down the shaft ... Handle and all ... Closeup of guitar player ... Closeup of two dancers ... Another closeup of two dancers ...Closeup of woman ... Closeup of man ... Closeup of other man.

Bottle whimsey with musicians, domino players, pig roastThis bottle whimsey is absolutely wonderful and intricate. Inside are four men playing dominoes, two musicians, and a man turning a pig on a spit over a fire. This bottle is one of a small group made in the early 2000's by Ramon Arbelo Gonzalez of Cuba. You can see the others here. The construction is very intricate - each domino is individually carved and painted, as are the flames of the fire. The guitar is carved, with applied bridge and individual strings. The bottle is embossed "Havana Club" and has a wooden base attached. Including the stopper and base, it is 13 1/2" long by 4" high by 3 1/4" in diameter, in excellent condition. The price is $1200.00. Inventory Code: CSRT.   See a slideshow of several views [792k] ... Bottle whimsey with musicians, domino players, pig roast ... Closeup ... Another closeup ... Closeup from above ... Top view ... Closeup from top ... Back view ... Closeup from back ... Another closeup from back ... End view ... The other end ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Bottle whimsey with musicians, domino players, pig roast ... Closeup ... Another closeup ... Closeup from top ... Closeup from back ... Another closeup from back ... From below.

Folky hand made tin can banjoThis is a folky banjo hand made from a large can, wood neck, sheet metal, and hand carved pegs. The strap is a pair of shoelaces. The frets were made from heavy copper wire set into grooves in the neck, but most of the wires are missing or were never there. It is 33" long by 7" wide by 4" deep, from the second half of the 20th century. The price is $150.00. Inventory Code: CTTA.   Folky hand made tin can banjo ... Side and back views ... More views from sides and back ... Closeups of top ... Closeup of neck ... Closeup of body ... Second closeup of body ... Third closeup of body ... Closeup from back ... From above ... Closeup from above ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Folky hand made tin can banjo ... Side and back views ... More views from sides and back ... Closeups of top ... Closeup of neck ... Closeup of body ... Second closeup of body ... Third closeup of body ... Closeup from back ... Closeup from above ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.

Drummer whirligigThis is a good looking and colorful whirligig of a uniformed drummer. As the vividly striped blade turns, the drummer's arms alternate up and down, beating the sticks on the drum. The whirligig is made from 1/2" pine, mounted on a metal base. It is 11 1/2" long by 20 1/2" high as mounted. The man is 8 1/2" tall and the blade is 12" across. From the second half of the 20th c., it is in very good, slightly weathered condition. The price is $325.00. Inventory Code: CCWP.   Drummer whirligig ... The other side ... Arms moved ... With the base ... Another angle ... Front view ... The blade ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Animation of the motion [1.2 Mb].
Some much larger photos:   Drummer whirligig ... The other side ... Arms moved ... With the base ... Another angle ... Front view ... The blade ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Animation of the motion [1.2 Mb].

Carved band by MattinglyHere are four carved musicians by Lloyd "Hog" Mattingly. They are coated with gesso, painted, and decorated, with beads for eyes. The women have hair made from polyurethane spray foam insulation, ribbons, fabric skirts, and plastic necklaces. The men's hair is made from glued sawdust, and they have painted clothes with felt hats and braid belts. Each is mounted on a round wood base 11" in diameter; they are unsigned. They range in size from 28 1/2" to 32" tall. They are in good condition with slight cracking and minor surface loss as seen in the photos. They woman in the floral skirt is missing one hand. Mattingly was from Kentucky, and carved from the early 1980's until his death in 2003. We have a similar, smaller group of musicians by him below. The price is $550.00 for the group. Inventory Code: CTTO.   Carved band by Mattingly ... Closeup ... The two women ... Side views of the women ... Back of the women ... The two men ... More views ... Side views of the men ... Closeups of the singer ... The singer's feet ... Closeups of the banjo player ... Closeup of the fiddler ... Two more closeups ... Side and back of the fiddler ... His legs ... The fiddler's feet ... Closeups of the guitar player ... Side and back closeups ... His legs and feet ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Carved band by Mattingly ... Closeup ... The two women ... Side views of the women ... Back of the women ... The two men ... More views ... Side views of the men ... Closeups of the singer ... The singer's feet ... Closeups of the banjo player ... Closeup of the fiddler ... Two more closeups ... Side and back of the fiddler ... His legs ... The fiddler's feet ... Closeups of the guitar player ... Side and back closeups ... His legs and feet ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.

Carved bandThis is a group of four carved musicians playing guitar, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass. The men have painted clothes, cloth bandannas, felt hats, and hair made from glued on sawdust. The women have cloth skirts, ribbons, plastic necklaces, and hair made from painted polyurethane spray foam insulation. This assemblage was made by Lloyd "Hog" Mattingly of Kentucky, who carved from the early 1980's until his death in 2003. The base is signed "Hog's Hobbies L Mattingly". It measures 21 1/2" high by 33 1/2" wide by 7" deep, in very good condition. There is some slight cracking around the shoulder of the bass player, visible in the third closeup photo. The price is $450.00. Inventory Code: CCAO.   See a slideshow of several views [855k] ... Carved band ... Another angle ... Third view ... Closeup of two figures ... The other two figures ... Third closeup ... Side views ... Back view ... Back, from above ... Closeup of signature ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Carved band ... Another angle ... Third view ... Closeup of two figures ... The other two figures ... Third closeup ... Side views ... Back view ... Back, from above ... Closeup of signature ... With a soda can for scale.

Carved bandThis is an assemblage of four carved, painted musicians. They are playing guitar, fiddle, banjo and bass, and are all singing. It is signed "By Tim Ratliff 3-94" and also signed again underneath. It is 11 1/2" high by 12 1/2" wide by 9 1/2" deep, in excellent condition. The price is $300.00. Inventory Code: CCAH.   Carved band ... Another view ... Third view ... Closeup ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... From above ... Another view from above ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Carved band ... Another view ... Third view ... Closeup ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... From above ... Another view from above ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.

Bottle cap rabbits jazz bandThis is a wonderfully folky set of rabbit musicians made from bottle caps and found objects. There is a piano, drums, banjo, base, saxophone, and one rabbit who is singing and/or directing. The ears, tails, arms, and legs are bottle caps folded in half. Their whiskers are wire, the noses are tiny screws painted red at the tips. There are several larger plastic caps in the drum set, and the black keys on the piano are short lengths of heavy wire. Each figure is free standing, they can be rearranged on the wooden base. The individual rabbits range from about 5" to 6" tall. The wooden base is 11 1/2" wide by 9 1/4" deep, with the upper platform 4 3/4" high. The age appears to be c. 1970's. The condition is good. The platform the drummer sits on has lost some sequins, and a couple of the bottle cap feet appear to have been replaced. The price is $1300.00. Inventory Code: CCCP.   Bottle cap rabbits jazz band ... Another angle ... A third view ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... From above ... Another view from above ... The rabbits off of the base ... Closeup of 3 rabbits ... Closeup from back ... Closeup of the other three ... The other three from back ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Bottle cap rabbits jazz band ... Another angle ... A third view ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... From above ... Another view from above ... The rabbits off of the base ... Closeup of 3 rabbits ... Closeup from back ... Closeup of the other three ... The other three from back ... With a soda can for scale.

Carving of fiddlerThis is one of three detailed carvings with lots of personality. There is a preacher, a fiddler, and two men playing checkers. Each is painted, and signed "Jack Eichbaum". Eichbaum lived in Chattanooga, TN and carved for many decades until his death in 2010. He was a member of the Southern Highlands Craft guild. (To see the other two, please visit the carving page.) The fiddle player has a long mustache, and is seated with one foot propped on his chair. The whole carving, including the chair and base is made from a single piece of wood. It is 5 5/8" high by 2 1/4" side by 4 7/8" deep, in excellent condition. The price is $375.00. Inventory Code: CCTO.   Carving of fiddler ... Side view ... Front view ... The other side ... Back views ... From above ... Another view from above and below ... With a soda can for scale ... With the other two carvings.
Some much larger photos:   Carving of fiddler ... Side view ... Front view ... The other side ... Back views ... From above ... Another view from above and below ... With a soda can for scale ... With the other two carvings.

Religious stereo nightlight costructionOrdered. (What this means.)
This is a really unusual construction that includes a light, car stereo, and compartments for placing items. All of this is set with a religious theme, having a large lighted cross dominating the look. The stereo includes AM/FM radio, cassette player, and speakers. The story behind this piece is that a preacher's son got caught stealing radios. As punishment, the preacher made his son turn his sin into repentance. The son made this religious item out of the stolen car radio. This piece is made from a mix of woods, with plexiglass and some kind of braid around the cross. It is in excellent working condition - even the cassette player. The radio would benefit with an antenna added to the socket on top, but gets some reception even without one. The knobs on the back are decorative only, the piece does not open. There are two small cracks in the plexiglass as seen in the closeups: one above the radio, the other by the light switch. It was likely made around the 1970's, and is 23" high by 13" wide by 11 1/2" deep to the front of the knobs. Inventory Code: TRRW.   See a slideshow of several views [734k] ... Religious stereo nightlight construction ... Another angle ... A third view ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... From above ... Above, from rear ... Closeup of front ... Closeup of side ... Closeup of the back ... From below ... Lit up ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Religious stereo nightlight construction ... Another angle ... A third view ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... Above, from rear ... Closeup of front.

One of several original Mexican Sombreros. They are all in excellent condition, and are not new. They appear to be from the last quarter of the 20th c., or possibly older and are wonderful, decorative objects - in addition to being just the right headwear for that "special" occasion. This sombrero is a very splashy black velvet decorated top and bottom with applied, silver and white braid and multicolored sequins. It is in excellent condition, and measures 24" across. You can see the rest on our Sombreros page. The price is $125.00. Inventory Code: AHHW.   Top view ... Closeup of top ... Bottom view ... Side view.

A highly unusual home made one string electric bass, with amplifier and speaker. It has a carved wooden handle on top of which the string is attached. When pivoted it changes the tension on the string and therefore the note. The bass is 24" high, 12" wide and 5" deep. It is made of wood, covered by Naugahyde on the sides and part of a chenille spread on the front. The amp/speaker is in an old carrying case 14" wide, 13" high and 7" deep. The price is $150.00. Inventory Code: PRKW. Image.

Metal drummer music boxThis folky metal drummer assemblage is actually a wind up music box. The drummer is constructed of springs, heavy wires, and light metal. The drums and stage are also all metal. The music box mechanism is mounted on a piece of wood under the base. It is pretty intricate. The size is about 7 1/2" high by 6 1/2" wide by 6" deep. It was likely made in the 1960's or 1970's and is in fairly good used condition. There are normal scratches and oxidation to the metal. The pièce de résistance comes when you wind the key and then listen to an extremely "sick" rendition of the opening bars of "The Age of Aquarius". The price is $110.00. Inventory Code: TWKA.   Metal drummer music box ... Front view ... Side views ... Back view ... From above ... From below ... With a soda can for scale ... Hear the music in this video (10.4Mb).

 

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