This wonderful monkey came from the estate of the late Chicago-based collector and arts patron Ruth Horwich, who was among the founders of the Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art in 1967, and later a Trustee. She and her husband Leonard collected for more than half a century--an eclectic mix of folk, naïve, and outsider art as well as many works by Chicago Imagists, and and a large collection of work by Alexander Calder. Clearly her great eye ran to adopting this guy sometime along the way!
I have found just a couple of other old carved folk art monkeys with a similar construction--seated like this, and with moveable arms and fixed legs attached by nails--but none with these fantastic red spots and such a great pencil-drawn face, including wonderfully detailed teeth and long eye lashes! Early 20th century I believe, I think it is quite possibly an antique Oaxacan alebrije, but I am not 100 percent sure. In any event, really a charmer, perfectly poised for shelf sitting!
6 7/8" t x 4 1/4" d x 2 1/2" w. There is an old split at the top of one leg; otherwise great condition and super sturdy. There is a round bit nailed to the inside of one hand, perhaps meant just to be a tasty morsel to be lifted toward his mouth, but I am not sure! His arms move up and down smoothly. There is some old green paint in a few spots in addition to the red.