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  EXCEPTIONAL, CARVED WOODEN CANE IN THE FORM OF A THORNED TWIG, WITH TWO, SPOTTED, GREEN SNAKES TWISTING UP IT, AMERICAN, circa 1870
Dimensions (inches): 37" long x 1.5" diameter
Description:
Exceptional form and surface are the hallmarks of the best American folk art. This hand-carved, wooden cane, made around 1870, has both in spades. “Don’t tread on us” would be a fitting title for the work, in the form of a thorned twig, about which two serpents twist up in unison, carefully following one-another. It can be surmised that this is not the carver’s first attempt at this sort of object, as the level of craftsmanship is very high. Everything is carefully executed, from the squashed ball finial, to the tapered ring that divides the handle from the shaft, with crimped top and bottom, to look as if it was somehow forced onto it, to the thorns and snakes below.

The surface is beautiful, with the branch in a dark, reddish-brown varnish, beautifully alligatored. This contrasts extremely well with the smooth surface of the forest green polychromatic paint, textured with yellow polka dots.

I have seen many canes with snakes in the world of American folk art over thirty plus years in the business, but never anything that exceeds the quality of this example.

Condition: The shaft is slightly curved, but whether or not this was natural and intentional, and simply part of the original branch, is impossible to know. It can be hung or placed horizontally on a wall, so as to look as if it is not curved, if so desired.
   
Primary Color: reddish brown, green
Earliest Date: 1870
Latest Date: 1885
For Sale Status: Available
Price $7,500
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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