I'm constantly amazed by the patience and care invested by the makers of objects like this, but I do think whoever made this must have felt quite satisfied with this wonderful jointed rower once finished. Wire inserted into the openings of the oars runs through oarlocks on either side, then through holes in the whittled hands of the rower--and indeed with a little care he can still be made to row them. Without facial features, this rower feels like something of an archetype, and the piece pretty existential, a portrait of the nature of life itself! Really a special, tender thing.
I believe American and I think likely 2nd half of the 19th century. Delicate, but in very good condition, with a wonderful presence. Joints at shoulders and elbows are securely connected by wire, possibly replaced at elbows but I am not sure. 12" long x 3" tall x 2 1/8" wide not including oars; 7 1/4" wide with oars outstretched.