Mid-Land Novelty Co 1930s Walnuts Sailor

Regular price $40.00

What a weirdo! But pretty wonderful, I think! This little sailor--constructed of two real walnuts for head and body, metal rods, pipe-cleaners for arms and neck, and wooden dowels for legs--was made in 1935 by Mid-Land Novelty Co., Inc in St. Louis, Missouri. I really love his baby blue and white painted sailor's outfit, complete with red anchor on his chest and "USA" on his hat, plus that kerchief around his neck and those big eyes that seem to be coyly checking out something (or someone!) 

Based on the paper label glued to his base, this guy seems to have been the 107th creation of what I believe was quite a small company, which may not have lasted much beyond 1935 (I have found NO other examples of Mid-Land Novelty's work)--but the company's owner, Aaron Smith, who I am guessing was this sailor's maker, thought his creations novel enough to have obtained a patent, which details their unique construction!

More popular and of enduring renown in the realm of dolls constructed of walnuts are Loveleigh Novelty dolls made by Itura Rosalein Colley Leigh, better known as Miss Love, in Grantville, GA. These examples of Black Americana, featuring walnut heads and painstakingly sewn costumes, representing characters from black life as she saw it in her town.

He measures 4 3/4" tall and  2 1/2" wide x 3" deep at base. Good vintage condition, with just a bit of wear/loss of white paint--plus some white paint spatters on his wooden legs, I'd guess original to his making!