Religious and Fraternal Folk Art, Antiques: Page 1

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Tramp art church
Large, intricate tramp art church
Carved dresser box
Elegant carved dresser box with
Bible, mirrors, dated 1913
Decorated cross panels
Decorated architectural
panels over 5 feet high
Religious stereo nightlight construction
Religious stereo nightlight construction
Masonic inlaid memorial
Large Masonic inlaid memorial
whimsy, 3 feet high, signed, dated
Inlaid fraternal whimsey
1940's Inlaid fraternal
whimsey, signed,
1 of 2 by same maker
Odd Fellows tunic
Odd Fellows tunic
Odd Fellows Ceremonial key
Large wooden Odd Fellows ceremonial
key from LaFayette, IN 1933
Carved cross
Carved, assembled cross
Cross
Finely decorated
tramp art cross
Adam and Eve carving
19th c. Adam and Eve, angel carving over 3 feet high
Fraternal carving
Fraternal carved, painted
whisk broom holder
Tramp art crucifix shrine
Tramp art crucifix shrine
Crucifix
Very finely detailed
crucifix under glass
Tramp art crown of thorns crucifix
Tramp art crown of thorns crucifix
Odd fellows gavel
Carved Odd fellows
gavel, dated 1917
Page 2 of Religious and Fraternal Folk Art

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.

Carved dresser boxThis is an exceptionally nice and unusual handmade, one-of-a-kind dresser piece, with two sections that open for storage. While it has a fraternal look, it may very well have been made for personal use. This piece is made from various woods, two old mirrors, came from Pennsylvania and is dated 1913. The base is plywood while the rest seems to be two or more softwoods. Overall, this construction is about 10 1/4" high. The base is about 5 1/2" by 8" and the legs extend out to 9 1/2" wide by 7" deep. One of the legs has a barely visible crack underneath that was reglued years ago. The very top of the box is decorated with a carved and open book. This has the words Holy Bible spelled with individually carved and applied letters, 3 of which are long gone. The lid opens to reveal a storage area lined with black velvet and a mirror, which has lost much of the silvering. The front of this section has a mirror inserted in a framed portion, the corners of which are carved like supports similar to those which are below. The bottom box also has a hinged top, which opens to reveal a second and smaller storage area. The very top of this box is also relief carved into a decorative form and has the letters "E" and "H" applied - although the "H" is also long gone. The wood seems to have been finished with some stain and a very light varnish or lacquer, and the surface has taken on a very nice and rich patina with fine crazing. While there is a little wear from use and some surface cracks in the plywood this is in overall very good condition and has a wonderful look. The price is $575.00. Inventory Code: CSPO.   See a slideshow of several views [1.1Mb] ... Carved dresser box ... Another angle ... A third view ... Side views ... Back view ... Another back view ... Closeup of the top ... Closeup of the lower compartment ... A third closeup ... With lids open ... The mirror inside the lid ... The lower compartment, open ... Inside the upper compartment ... Closeup from back ... Another closeup, back ... From above ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Carved dresser box ... A different view ... Side views ... Back view ... Closeup of the top ... Closeup of the lower compartment ... Closeup from back ... From above ... With a soda can for scale.

Decorated cross panelsHere is a series of 5 old painted wood panels, each decorated with applied red diamonds and a white cross. Found in KY or Southern Indiana they reportedly were used in a personal folk/religious environment. Each of the panels is made from pine. They are 64" high by 9 1/4" wide and 1 1/2" deep and are in generally good condition, with no rotting. Originally the base boards were all painted a strong green. Over the years that has weathered and much of that green has flaked off, leaving the boards with a variation in color, and an overall green color. The white and red of the diamonds and crosses are still strong and colorful. These likely were made in the 1940's or 50's. They are priced at $175.00 each, or $750.00 for all five. Inventory Code: TCWA.   Decorated cross panels ... Closeup ... Side view ... The other side ... Another closeup ... Closeup, upper left ... Closeup, upper right ... Closer photo, upper middle ... Closeup, crosses right ... Closeup, crosses left ... Closer photo, middle cross ... Closeup, lower, from side ... Closeup, bottom middle ... Closeup, upper, from side ... Closeup, crosses from side ... Back ... Side views, from back ... Closeup of the back ... Another closeup of the back ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.

Odd Fellows tunicThis is striking tunic originally used by the Odd Fellows either for initiations or plays. It is made from cotton. There is a colorful embroidered sun on the front. The ends of the rays are costume jewels. It is further decorated with metal studs. The label inside indicates that this costume was for "David as Commander". This is in very good wearable condition with very slight soiling, minor wear to the collar, and some tarnish to some of the metal decorations. (We're being very picky about this - you have to look closely to see it.) The tunic was made by M.C Lilley & Co., in the late 1800's or early 1900's, prior to 1925, when the company's name was changed. It measures 40" long from the back of the collar to the hem and 22 1/2" across just under the arms. The sleeves are 24" long from the shoulder seam. The loose cut lets it be worn by a variety of sizes. The price is $225.00. Inventory Code: THTK.   See a slideshow of several views [286K] ... Odd Fellows tunic ... Another view ... Sides and back ... Closeup of sunburst ... Closeup of hem decoration ... Closeup of sleeve ... Label inside ... With another model.

Odd Fellows Ceremonial keyThis wooden ceremonial key is painted an oxidized, crazed silver, with lots of fine, elegant script in gold on both sides. Some of the words are hard to make out. One side says "Department Council of" ??? "Patriarchs Militant I.O.O.F. LaFayette June 18, 19 and 20 1933". The other side says "Association Ladies Auxiliaries, Department of Indiana". The Patriarchs Militant is the highest order within the Odd Fellows organization. The key measures 17" long by about 7" high by 3/4" thick. The condition is excellent with very minor paint wear. The price is $225.00. Inventory Code: CTPP. This is one of a large collection of oversized keys, including trade signs, ceremonial "keys to the city", and souvenirs. They range in age from the 1800's to the 1940's, and you can see them all here.   Lafayette, IN Ceremonial key with 12" ruler ... The other side ... End view ... The other end.
Some much larger photos:   Lafayette, IN Ceremonial key with 12" ruler ... The other side ... End view ... The other end.

This carved folk art cross is built up from many individual pieces - all carved or worked on in some way. It is finished in black paint and crazed varnish with a super surface. From the early 1900's, it is very detailed. It is 16 3/4" high by 9 1/4" wide by 5 1/2" deep, in excellent condition. The price is $450.00. Inventory Code: PRAP.   Image ... Another view ... 3/4 view ... Closeup of the top (color does not show as well in this photo ... Closeup of the base ... Another closeup of the top ... Back view.

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.

CrucifixThis is a intricate and detailed assemblage of a crucifixion scene. It is all under a glass dome. This is the smallest and most delicate example we have come across. It has some history written in German on the bottom, with the name of the maker, place (West Bend, Iowa), and date (193?). This assemblage includes all the symbolic objects, a Jesus on the cross, a woman below, and a third person. It even has carved flowers on the bottom. This piece fills the dome, which is about 4" high, 2 1/2" wide, and 1 1/2" deep. It is in almost perfect condition; however the standing person is loose. The price is $175.00. Inventory Code: AKOO.   Crucifix ... Back view ... One side ... The other side ... Writing on bottom.

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.   Image ... 3/4 view ... Another angle ... Closeup ... Closeup from above ... One side ... The other side ... From above ... Back view ... From below ... Bottom.

Religious stereo nightlight costructionThis 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. The price is $750.00. 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.

Masonic inlaid pieceHere is an amazing fraternal folk art work. It is a one-of-a-kind Masonic hanging with carved, inlaid, and applied decoration. It is constructed of hundreds of individual pieces. The overall form is the Masonic "G" which is cut from plywood. All the rest is constructed from various hard and soft woods, and as is written on the back: "Made by James Thompson, for wonderful Brother Vernon L Thompson, Nov. 1967, Prov 3-6, 162 pieces wood, 272 pieces plastic." The plastic pieces are the tiny colored inlaid circular pieces. In addition, close examination will reveal many symbols, applied and inlaid letters and words, and extremely detailed carving and construction. This piece is the mate to the fraternal whimsey by the same maker (below) which is also now available. The condition of the unusual construction is excellent. It is large, being about 3 feet high by 29" wide. The price is $1200.00. Inventory Code: TPAS.   Masonic inlaid piece ... Closeup of top ... Closeup of the Bible ... Closeup of the center frame ... Closeup of lower portion ... One side section ... The other side section ... Closer view of first side ... Closer view of second side ... Closeup of very top ... Closeup of top, from side ... Closeup from side, lower ... Closeup of lower from above ... Side view ... Back view ... Closeup of writing on back ... Closeup of middle from back ... Closeup of the gavel from back ... Side view, from back

Inlaid fraternal whimseyThis an extraordinary, one of a kind, folk art piece. It is a very large, extremely detailed marquetry whimsey with a fraternal theme; including many carved and inlaid elements. It is the mate to the previous item, by the same maker. This has so much intricate work that more things continue be seen and be appreciated even after several viewings. We have included many pictures that will convey some of the quality of this piece; however, it will still surprise and delight even more, when held in person.

Following is just a brief description of some of what is in this piece. To be complete would take more than reasonable here. Please let your eyes tell more of the story. This work is over 49" long, 5 1/2" wide, and over 1 1/4" deep in parts. It is decorated on the sides as well as the front. It includes Crosses, Ankhs, stars, hearts, Bibles, scrolls, spears, and other Masonic, Shriner, Eastern Star, and Odd Fellows symbols. Each section is held together with carved links; and the entire carving is made from one piece of wood. There is one carved ball in cage, relief carving, and a section inlaid with bone or ivory. There are inlaid words, and letters; and it is decorated with a multitude of symbology. This piece is in extremely good condition; although not completely "perfect". There is a slight crack in one link, and one has been reglued in part. There is also a little bit of red color which is on the lowest section. There is no loss that we can see. One section has hand painted the words "Memorial Day 1947". We would date it from that time. The back is inscribed "To Vernon Thompson for Mike". The price is $1250.00. Inventory Code: TSOH.   Inlaid fraternal whimsey ... Closeup of top section ... Another view ... Side view.
Second section: Front view ... Closeup ... Another closeup ... One side ... The other side.
Third section: Front view ... One side ... The other side.
Fourth section: Front view ... One side ... Another view ... The other side.
Bottom section: Front view ... Closeup ... Another closeup ... One side ... The other side.
The back: Upper back ... Middle back ... Lower back ... Closeup of inscription.

Odd fellows gavelHere is an Odd Fellows lodge gavel, dated 1917, from Lookout Mountain, TN. It has a super, satiny-smooth, patinated surface from years of handling and use. The head of the gavel was made from a rustic piece of thick branch, with the bark partly left on. One side was carved down, with the three links standing out in relief. Above and below the links is a burned inscription: "Lookout Mt Jan 21, 1917", something we can't make out, and "Lode (sic) No. 303, by J. W. Bower". The handle is a smaller branch, with most of the bark removed, and polished very smooth with use. The gavel is 9 3/4" long by 4 1/2" wide by 1 1/2" thick. There is a certain amount of appropriate wear on the business end, from hammering meetings to order, otherwise the condition is excellent. The price is $125.00. Inventory Code: TPTC.   Odd fellows gavel ... Closeup ... Side view ... Back ... From above ... From below.

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.   Image ... 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.

Adam and Eve carvingThis is a large, exceptional old wood carving depicting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden together with the Snake and Apple Tree. It is done in great detail in full, deep relief around the entire hard pine log. It has a wonderful old surface and patina. In a very unusual manner, this is actually two full scenes carved on opposite sides. One depicts Eve reaching for the apple with the serpent overhead, while the other shows the Angel ordering them away. Before, Adam and Eve are naked, after they are wearing fig leaves. Inscribed on the base of the "after" side is the word "Banishment". This carving is most likely from the late 1800's and is in excellent condition with very slight bark loss on the base. The piece is about 38" high by 12" by 12". The price is $4500.00. Inventory Code: CCPA.   See a slideshow of several views [798 k] ... Adam and Eve carving, "Banishment" ... The other side, in the Garden ... Another angle ... Fourth view ... One side view ... Sixth view ... Seventh view ... Eight view ... The other side view ... Closeup in the Garden with serpent, apple ... Another closeup ... Their feet ... Fourth closeup ... Closeup of the Angel banishing ... Adam and Eve ... Their faces ... Their feet, title ... Another view of the angel ... Closeup from side ... From above ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Adam and Eve carving, "Banishment" ... The other side, in the Garden ... Another angle ... Fourth view ... One side view ... Sixth view ... Seventh view ... Eight view ... The other side view ... Closeup in the Garden with serpent, apple ... Another closeup ... Their feet ... Fourth closeup ... Closeup of the Angel banishing ... Adam and Eve ... Their faces ... Their feet, title ... Another view of the angel ... Closeup from side ... From above ... From below ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale.

Fraternal carvingThis is an exceptional relief carved and painted whisk broom holder covered with fraternal symbols. It includes the three rings and axe of Odd Fellows, the sword and moon of the Shriners, and the star of Rebecca. In addition, it has a face carved in a center panel and the words "MELHA" and "In Hoc Signo Vinces". The size is 14" high, about 10" wide, and 5" deep. It is made out of pine, and was probably done around the early part of the 1900's. The condition is very good, with one tiny chip, very slight paint loss, and a tight age crack on the front. The carving is even more detailed than the photos show. The price is $675.00. Inventory Code: AWCR.   Fraternal carving ... Close-up of the top ... Lower front, from below ... Looking through from the top down ... Back.

Page 2 of Religious and Fraternal Folk Art

 

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