Tramp Art Boxes, Frames, Furniture, and More

Folk art, antiques, and outsider art

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Tramp art shelf with hidden drawers
Large tramp art shelf with
hidden puzzle compartments
Tramp art church
Large, intricate tramp art church
Tramp art and bottle whimsy
Extraordinary tramp art and bottle whimsy
7 1/2 feet  high Crown of thorns
7 1/2 feet high Crown of thorns
hall stand with hearts
Tramp art shelf with drawers
Tramp art shelf with drawers
Large multicolored clock case
Large multicolored
clock case
Tramp art dresser
Miniature Tramp art dresser
Tramp art crown of thorns crucifix
Crown of thorns crucifix
Cross
Finely decorated cross
Tramp art crucifix shrine
Tramp art crucifix shrine
Hobo and Tramp Art Carving book
One copy - out of print book on
Hobo and Tramp Art Carving
Art Deco dresser box
Art Deco dresser box,
layered, not chip carved
Extraordinary folding whimsy carving
Extraordinary, large, intricate folding whimsy:
all one piece, chip carved and decorated
Crown of thorns tramp art frame
Crown of thorns tramp art frame
in two shades of natural wood
Large, intricate tramp art frame
Large tramp art frame with
scrollwork hearts, inscription
Tramp art frame with moons
Tramp art frame with moons
Painted tramp art box
Painted tramp art box
Tramp art wall pocket
Tramp art wall pocket
Two sided desk frame
Two sided desk frame

Large, intricate tramp art frameHere is an extremely well made, large, and unusual tramp art frame. In addition to the chip carved layers, it has extensive scroll or fretwork with designs including multiple hearts and crosses. There are also small mirrors in the corners and around the sides, a top crest, and words worked in the bottom fretwork. It was found in Pennsylvania, measures 32" by 28" by 3", is eight layers deep, and painted gold - which has oxidized over the years, giving a dark, rich tone. The base frame seems to be from the late 1800's, but the paint is more likely from around the 1920's, so, it may be an older construction that was painted at that time. It is in almost perfect condition. The inscription at the bottom is difficult to make out; it may be "Borze Zbaw Nas". With a slight change in spelling, Google translates this as Polish for "God Save Us". While this is in Polish, it is very likely that the frame is actually American, as that area of Pennsylvania had many European immigrants, some of whom brought this art form here. The price is $1275.00. Inventory Code: CPHS.   See a slideshow of several views [746k] ... Large, intricate tramp art frame ... Closeup, upper half ... Closeup, lower half ... Closeup, one corner ... Side view ... Another side view ... Back view ... With a yardstick for scale.

Some much larger photos:   Large, intricate tramp art frame ... Closeup, upper half ... Closeup, lower half ... Side view ... Back view.

Painted tramp art boxThis is a colorfully painted tramp art box with a drawer and hinged lid. The construction is unusual. The upper, hinged portion is built around a cardboard cigar box. This was surrounded with 1/2" thick boards at the sides and back to make it taller, a drawer added underneath, then the whole box was decorated with chip-carved wood layers, some in free-form shapes. It was painted in two shades of rose, blue, black, and brown, with each notch highlighted in dull gold. Metal tacks and handles complete the decoration. There is a label inside from a Pennsylvania cigar factory.

The box stands 8 3/4" tall by 11" wide by 6" deep. The condition is fairly good. There is some wear to the edges of the cardboard part, mainly visible in the top corners and the edge just above the drawer. See the photos for details. Also, the hinges have pulled away from the cardboard, so that the lid is only held on by the metal slider inside. It is from the mid-1900's. The price is $395.00. Inventory Code: CATS.   See a slideshow of several views [1 Mb] ... Painted tramp art box ... Front view ... Another angle ... From above ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... Lid open ... Open, from above ... With drawer removed ... The label inside ... Closeup of lid ... Another closeup ... Closeup of hinges ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Painted tramp art box ... Front view ... Another angle ... From above ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... Another closeup ... Closeup of hinges.

Tramp art and bottle whimsyThis is an elaborate tramp art enclosure holding a bottle whimsy mounted for display. It is the only one we have ever seen - either in person or books. The bottle is a gallon jug with the handle and part of the spout cut off. Inside it is a detailed two story house with chip, notch, and incised carving surrounded by a "garden" of dried flowers, with a fence around it. The house has windows of glass or plastic set in.

The tramp art enclosure includes flat work tramp art, incised carving, and fretwork, with clover shaped and more abstract cutouts. It is built from crate and cigar box wood, with a lacquer or varnish finish that is lightly crazed. One end slides out like a drawer and the bottle can then be removed. On the bottom and inside are printed crate labels for American Flag Candied Peels from New York. The condition is exceptional - near mint. We can see one small age split by a nail on top and a tiny loss to a bit of the end of a diamond decoration on the right end; but can't find anything else missing. The overall size is 13 3/4" long by 8" deep by 8 3/4" high, from the early 1900's. The price is $2400.00. Inventory Code: CCCW.   Tramp art enclosure with bottle whimsy ... The other side ... Another view ... Fourth view ... End view ... The other end ... End slid open ... Another view open ... Inside of enclosure ... From above ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Tramp art enclosure with bottle whimsy ... The other side ... Another view ... Fourth view ... End view ... The other end ... End slid open ... Another view open ... Inside of enclosure ... From above ... From below.

This is the largest and most outstanding piece of crown of thorns construction we have ever seen. It has five frames, a shelf, and a drawer. The construction is entirely crown of thorns - the only fasteners used are in the drawer and one of the frames. The drawer is notched out to slide into the interlocking pieces. Five sets of carved hearts are worked into the upper part.

It is made from unfinished pine, and stands 7 1/2 feet (90") high by 50" wide by 13" deep; the shelf is 39 1/2" wide. It is quite sturdy and functional - there is no problem with setting even fairly heavy things on the shelf.

This piece was found in Louisville, KY, probably made in that area around the turn of the century, and is in excellent condition. The person who found it, sitting in an attic covered with soot, turned a garden hose on it, and in the process, washed off much of the gesso from the large frame in the center. The resulting mottled surface, (while it looks good in our opinion), is obviously not in its original condition. The only other flaw is a missing drawer pull. We will be carving a replacement to match. There is no damage or loss to the crown of thorns. This is a spectacular and beautiful piece of furniture. The price is $12,500.00. Inventory Code: PKOK.   Front view ... One side ... The other side ... Closeup of carved hearts ... Closeup of top ... Details ... Drawer open, showing notching ... Upper half ... Lower half ... Bottom inside ... With Matt, to show scale.

Tramp art shelf with drawersThis is a very nice tramp art shelf with two drawers. It can sit or be hung. The piece is made from a combination of plywood and pine and has been stained in two different colors for a finish. This shelf has both chip carving, mostly along the edges, and "flatwork" which is a series of carved strips applied edge to edge. In addition to the two drawers, each side has a small triangular shelf. The top is cut out with geometrics and hearts as decoration. This shelf was likely made in the 1940's or '50's. It is 18 1/4" wide by 13 1/4" high by 6" deep to the front of the knobs. It is in excellent condition. The price is $425.00. Inventory Code: CTOP.   See a slideshow of several views [660k] ... Tramp art shelf with drawers ... Another angle ... A third view ... Side views ... Back view ... From above ... From below ... With drawers open ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Tramp art shelf with drawers ... Another angle ... A third view ... Side views ... Back view ... From above ... From below ... With drawers open ... With a soda can for scale.

Tramp art wall pocketThis is a tramp art wall pocket in very nice black and gold paint. It is built up in two to five layers, and embellished with scalloped edges and a variety of chip carving techniques. Each chip, and all of the edges are carefully highlighted with gold, which stands out against the black background. It is built from crate wood, and measures 11 1/4" high by 7 3/4" wide by 4" deep. The condition is very good, with a couple of very small scuffs on the front and on one side. Age is likely to be from the 1920's to the 40's. The price is $225.00. Inventory Code: CSSW.   See a slideshow of several views [326k] ... Tramp art wall pocket ... Side views ... From below ... From above ... Back view ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Tramp art wall pocket ... Side views.

Tramp art shelf with hidden drawersThis is a large tramp art shelf with five secret puzzle box compartments. The shelf has an unusual trapezoidal shape, and is decorated with chip carved pyramids, a heart, flat work, and mirrors on the front and sides. On the back are latches made from spoon handles that lock the three hidden drawers shut. On the top back corners are two metal latches that release hinged side panels to reveal compartments behind the mirrors. The front and sides are painted and decorated with metal tacks, the top is varnished. There are three metal hangars to mount it on a wall, or it can sit on a shelf. The size is 35 1/2" wide by 9 1/4" deep by 10 1/4" high. It is in excellent, near mint condition with only the slightest wear on the back corners. Age appears to be from the 1930's or so. The price is $950.00. Inventory Code: CCCO.   Tramp art shelf with hidden compartments ... Another angle ... Third view ... Closeup, middle ... Closeup, left ... Closeup, right ... Side view ... The other side ... Back views, showing latches locked and open ... Side doors open ... Drawers open ... Drawers removed ... Detail, with drawers removed ... From above ... Above, from side ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Tramp art shelf with hidden compartments ... Another angle ... Third view ... Closeup, middle ... Closeup, left ... Closeup, right ... Side view ... The other side ... Back views, showing latches locked and open ... Side doors open ... Drawers open ... Drawers removed ... Detail, with drawers removed ... From above ... Above, from side ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.

Tramp art churchThis is an extremely large and finely detailed tramp art church. The pictures will have to tell the story of how intricate and beautiful the workmanship is. The glass windows are backed with hand-drawn paper to simulate leaded glass. One end has a very elaborate carved door, with a fretwork "stained glass" window above and three crosses on the roof. A watch was set into the tower as the church clock. Presumably this was intended to be decorative rather than functional, as there is no way to open the church to wind the clock. It is mounted on a base that forms the churchyard, with a tramp art fence and carved gate. The finish is a warm, rich, medium-dark lacquer with a good surface. This church measures 29 1/4" long by 12 1/2" deep by 20" high. There is one small strip missing from the tower, and a stain on the clock face, both visible in the photos. There is also a small gap in the fence that may be a missing piece. Otherwise, the condition and surface are excellent. It was made in the early 1900's, or possibly late 1800's. The price is $2200.00. Inventory Code: TRWP.   See a slideshow of several views [1.2Mb] ... Tramp art church ... Another angle ... A third view ... One end ... The other end ... Back view ... Another angle, back ... A third angle, back ... Closeup, tower ... Closeup, one end, upper ... Lower closeup of end ... Closeup of side ... Closer view of gate, doorway ... Another view of doorway ... Side windows ... Top of tower ... Roof, crosses ... From above ... Another view from above ... Clock, doorway, from above ... Foot of tower, from above ... Another view of tower ... Rear door, from above ... Side, from above ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Tramp art church ... Another angle ... A third view ... Closeup of the tower ... One end ... Closeup, top of one end ... Lower closeup of end ... Closer view of gate, doorway.

Tramp art dresserThis is a very well done, unusually decorated, two drawer miniature tramp art dresser. This piece was made from cigar boxes and crate wood, and likely done in the late 1800's. On the sides the circular carving and decoration is done in recess: the reverse of the more usual round pyramids. Each of the side layers has been cut and carved to reverse the pyramid into a "well"; something we have not seen before. The drawer fronts each have the more traditional circular pyramids, and each has a pair of porcelain knobs. The mirror set in the top back is also unusual. It was a regular dresser mirror with a metal folding stand that was fitted through a hole cut in the back. This is visible in the rear view. This miniature dresser has good size. It is 18" high by 9" wide by 8 1/2" deep to the front of the knobs. It is in very good condition with a little wear and some loss to the silvering of the mirror. The price is $875.00. Inventory Code: CTWK.   See a slideshow of several views [675k] ... Tramp art dresser ... Another angle ... Front, with a soda can for scale ... Closeup ... Side views ... Back view ... Detail of the back ... Drawers open ... Labels on the drawers ... From above ... Another view from above ... From below.
Some much larger photos:   Tramp art dresser ... Another angle ... Front, with a soda can for scale ... Closeup ... Side views ... Back view ... Drawers open ... Labels on the drawers ... From above ... Another view from above.

Tramp art crown of thorns crucifixThis is an especially nice and intricate crown of thorns cross with a folky wood carving of Jesus. The entire assemblage is 15 1/4" high, 12" wide, and 6 1/2" deep. Jesus is about 7" high, 4" wide, and an inch deep. This piece is in excellent condition, with no loss. The surface of the carved Jesus is unfinished, while the rest of the construction has a light layer of a clear coat. There are some few areas, notably on top of the two side pieces, where the finish is somewhat heavier. This unusual piece is not exceptionally old, perhaps being made in the 1980's. The price is $225.00. Inventory Code: AKAT.   Crown of thorns tramp art cross ... 3/4 view ... Another angle ... Closeup ... Closeup from above ... One side ... The other side ... From above ... Back view ... From below ... Bottom.

Art Deco dresser boxThis is a three drawer Art Deco style dresser box with unusual construction. The front, sides, back, and top are built up from strips of plywood. The strips were turned so that the edges of the layers show, giving an effect similar to inlay or matchstick work. It is also related to the "flat work" style of tramp art, except that the layers are not carved. The initials "M.E.C." are incised and then painted on the top. The back crest is cut out in steps, with incised lines. A mirror is set into the upper back. The box is finished in a light varnish, darkened slightly with age. It was made in the first half of the 20th century, and measures 10 3/4" high by 12" wide by 7 1/2" deep. The condition is excellent with the exception of a sliver missing from the top of the mirror and a little bit of the silvering, as seen in the closeup. The price is $325.00. Inventory Code: CATP.   See a slideshow of several views [741k] ... Layered Art Deco dresser box ... Front view ... From above ... Another angle ... One side ... The other side ... Back view ... Another view from above ... Drawers open ... Closeup of the mirror ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Layered Art Deco dresser box ... Front view ... From above ... Another angle ... One side ... The other side ... Back view ... Another view from above.

This is a large multicolored tramp art clock case. It is 30 1/2" high, 17 1/4" wide, and 9 1/2" deep. The pine and plywood case is finished in both clear varnish and white paint. Made in the 1950's, this folky case is in very good condition with a nice strong look. The clock motor runs but the arms don't turn, so that can possibly be repaired. The price is $485.00. Inventory Code: ACOR.   One view ... Another view ... Another view ... Another view ... Top view ... One side ... The other side ... Back view ... Close-up.

Hobo and Tramp Art Carving bookThis is a copy of the book Hobo & Tramp Art Carving by Adolph Vandertie and Patrick Spielman. It was published by Sterling Publishing Co. in 1995 and is now out of print. The book has some wonderful photos of tramp art and whimseys. It also includes step-by-step instructions for many of these carving techniques. You can see some of them and read excerpts from the book here.

This copy is in extremely good condition and seems almost unused. There are a few almost unnoticeable blemishes around the edges of the cover. It is 10" by 8" by 3/8". It is a nice reference book whether you want to learn to carve tramp art and whimseys or just enjoy the photographs. The price of $40.00 includes Priority Mail shipping. Inventory Code: CPAT.   Front cover ... Back cover.

This is a 2-sided, free-standing tramp art frame. It has two turned uprights which are pegged into the four-layer, chip carved base. The frame itself swivels between the uprights. It has three crosses at the top and bottom, with four layers of chip carving on the front and three on the back. Two photos could be inserted back to back. It is painted an old, oxidized gold over silver, and is from the 1920's or 30's. The frame stands 12 1/2" high by 9" wide by 2 3/4" deep, with an opening 5 1/2" by 3 1/2". The condition is very good, with one old, narrow break approximately 2" long at one lower corner of the base and a couple of small age splits which are very solid, and do not detract from the appearance. The price is $350.00. Image ... Larger image.

Tramp art frame with moonsThis is a nice, good sized tramp art frame made from cigar boxes over a crate wood base. The exterior is about 23 1/4" by 18 1/2", while the opening is around 14 1/2" by 9 3/4". It is built in up to 5 layers, and is about 1 1/2" deep including the base. The chip carved corners each have crescent moons applied. The outside of the frame is decorated with many carved pieces that were set in under the long pyramids. The inside of the frame is also decorated with some nice larger notching. There are a variety of shades of woods making up this piece. These all seem to be original, their differences coming from using a variety of cigar boxes. Some of the labels are visible on the back, including a NJ tax stamp. The entire frame has a lacquer surface. This piece is in extremely good condition with a few small chips and perhaps the loss of a tiny bit of the tip of one moon. It was likely made in the early 1900's. The price is $475.00. Inventory Code: TWHR.   See a slideshow of several views [408k] ... Tramp art frame with moons ... Closeup, upper right ... Closeup, upper left ... Closeup, lower left ... Closeup, lower right ... Side view ... Closeup from side ... Back view ... Back, closeup lower right ... Back, closeup upper right ... Back, closeup upper left ... Back, closeup lower left ... Closeup from back, side view ... With a soda can for scale.

Extraordinary folding whimsy carvingThis is a really extraordinary, large whimsy carving - the most elaborate we have come across. It is a variation on the folding pliers carved from a single piece of wood, but when you unfold the pliers, each side unfolds into two more, which then unfold again, and again. Finally, many of the free ends are carved into hanging baskets. Again, this is all from one piece of wood.

The whimsy was then decorated by chip carving all of the edges and most of the larger flat surfaces in detail, giving it something of a tramp art effect. Finally, the surface was decorated with applied pieces of darker veneer, and colored ribbons and just a little glitter were added. The three largest joints were reinforced with nails.

When folded, the whole thing fits into an original, custom made wood box. The whimsy is 30 1/4" long by 2 3/4" by 1 3/4" when completely folded. When unfolded, it is about 22" high by 30" by 17". The box measures 31 3/4" long by 4 1/4" wide by 3 1/4" high.

It was made in the early 1900's and is in excellent condition. One of the small baskets is missing: the break is very old, and may even have happened while the carving was being made. Also one corner of the box lid is broken, and the box surface is somewhat worn. Otherwise, the carving itself is pristine. The price is $2500.00. Inventory Code: CTKH.   See a slideshow of several views [1.5 Mb] ... Intricate folding whimsy ... Another angle ... Folded up ... Open, another angle ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... Back, from above ... Partially folded ... Partially folded, another angle ... Folded, with box and lid ... Side and back views folded up ... Folded, in the box ... The box ... Closeup of the loss to the box ... Another side angle ... Other side, from above ... Closeup of top, partly folded ... Top, side view ... Closeup of top, folded ... Closeups, folded up ... Closeup center section ... Another closeup of middle ... Closeup of the feet ... Another closeup: missing small hanging basket would be on left ... Third closeup of feet ... With a soda can for scale ... In box, with a yardstick for scale.

Some much larger photos:   Intricate folding whimsy ... Another angle ... Folded up ... Open, another angle ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... Back, from above ... Partially folded ... Partially folded, another angle ... Folded, with box and lid ... Side and back views folded up ... Folded, in the box ... The box ... Closeup of the loss to the box ... Another side angle ... Other side, from above ... Closeup of top, partly folded ... Top, side view ... Closeup of top, folded ... Closeups, folded up ... Closeup center section ... Another closeup of middle ... Closeup of the feet ... Another closeup: missing small hanging basket would be on left ... Third closeup of feet ... With a soda can for scale ... In box, with a yardstick for scale.

Tramp art crucifix shrineThis is an extremely unusual, small and intricate tramp art display case. It has a hinged door with glass, and glass on the other three sides. The case contains a crucifixion scene, and includes many carved wooden tools associated with the crucifixion. It also has three lithographs representing Jesus and the two thieves (although they all seem to be Jesus). The case is topped with a cross and has an ornate finial and other details. It is finished in an old, oxidized gold paint, and was likely made around C. 1920's. The case is about 11 1/2" to the top of the cross, by 5 1/2" wide and 4" deep. It is not in perfect condition, as it has quite a lot of bits and pieces of loss. Obviously, this is a consideration, but in balance, is clearly outweighed by the rarity of this one-of-a-kind piece. The price is $350.00. Inventory Code: AKAO.   Tramp art crucifix shrine ... 3/4 view ... Another view from above ... From above ... One side ... The other side ... Back ... Another angle ... Closeup front ... Closeup back ... Closeup one side ... Closeup the other side.

Tramp art crossThis is a large tramp art crucifix with very fine workmanship, from Belgium. The cross is built up in eight layers, the base in seven to nine layers, with three-layered feet. It is decorated with metal tacks, and has a chip-carved ladder and tongs. There are remnants of a medium lacquer finish, and also areas of white and black paint, giving an unusual, textured surface. The back has remnants of elaborate cigar box labels. It dates from the late 1800's to about 1900, and stands 25" high by 13" wide by 5" deep. The condition can only be described as poor: one of the four "rays" is missing, there are several smaller chips missing, and there was probably a corpus originally. In spite of the condition, the look and overall effect are very strong, and it remains a beautiful object as it is. The price is $250.00. Inventory Code: APAK.   Tramp art cross ... Two more angles ... Side views ... Closeup of the top ... A closer view of the top ... Closeup of the base ... The base, from above ... Side views of the base ... Another side view of the base ... Back view ... Closeup, upper back ... A closer view of the back ... Closeup, lower back ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.

Crown of thorns tramp art frameOrdered. (What this means.)
This is a crown of thorns tramp art frame with very fine workmanship. It has a crest on top, and patterns of darker and lighter wood worked into the side and bottom edges. The surface is unfinished and oxidized with age. The tramp art was built up around a narrow white wooden frame, so it would be easy to mount glass and a picture. It measures 16 1/2" wide by 15 1/2" high by about 2 1/4" deep. The opening is 9 1/2" by 7 3/4". It is in very good condition, missing two small pieces, visible in the closeups. The breaks are old and oxidized with the rest of the surface. Age is from the first half of the 1900's. Inventory Code: CAWK.   Crown of thorns tramp art frame ... From above and below ... Side view ... Closeup of lower edge ... Closeup of one side ... Back view ... Back, from an angle ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Crown of thorns tramp art frame ... From above and below ... Side view ... Back view ... Back, from an angle ... With a soda can for scale.

 

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