Very Old, Very Expressive Tall Papier Mache over Wood Figure with Beautifully Carved Face

Regular price $220.00

This one! I found him yesterday in Maine, though most certainly that is not where he originated. His papier mache over carved wood construction, and the manner of the carving of his face suggests reminds me a bit of some extraordinary early Punch and Judy puppets I once had. I’m not entirely certain but would guess mid-late 19th century and think likely European, but with the face looking as if perhaps representing an African subject. Altogether a bit of a mystery really, at least to me, but a marvelous one; I find him tremendously beautiful and evocative. (And, I must say, including for being so tall and lanky, he reminds me a bit of Barack Obama!) Much much better than photos convey.

17 1/2” tall. His arms come off, but will hang (a bit precariously) from the nails on his sides; they are best attached once he is situated. (Or could be left off altogether.) There is a split at the top of one of them, which makes it a bit fragile but it can be easily reinforced on the interior side (not visible) with a little archival tape. (I'll include some.)  His papered “skin” is stable and not shedding, but certainly shows age and a bit of loss here and there. He will not stand on his own so needs to be lightly leaned against something, or ideally would be given a stand. He could also be hang from the wall with the addition of a wire around his waist or a nail in his backside.