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Home | Articles | Carved and Painted Figurehead of a Native American

Hylad Granby Antiques
Sold to a private collector at the 2003 Philadelphia Antiques Show
Carved and Painted Figurehead
of a Native American
Signed and dated: J BOWERS 1861
H. 29I", W. 22", D. 24"
Courtesy of Hyland Granby Antiques

This figurehead is one of a very few known signed and dated American ship carvings. Much of its original paint has been retained as well as a greater amount of original features than most figureheads extant.

The carving quality is exceptional, featuring a lifelike facial expression, large and detailed earrings and necklace, and a medallion at the chest. For similar examples by or attribued to Bower, see Frank Maresca and Roger Ricco's American Vernacular (Bulfinch, 2002) and American Primitive, American Self-Taught (Knopf, 1988).

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