"Maiden voyage" returns American Indian tobacconist's figure to U.S. for June 27-28 auction A rare Samuel Robb tobacco store advertising figure of an Indian maiden was discovered thousands of miles from America. It will be offered in Old Town Auctions' June 27-28 sale in Hagerstown, Md.
News-Antique.com - May 28,2009 - HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Cigar store figures of the late-19th and early 20th centuries usually come with provenance, since those who buy them tend to keep them in their collections for many years. If and when they are resold, the figures almost always go to other collectors who ensure that the chain of provenance is kept intact. But not many of these uniquely American artworks can claim to have traveled thousands of miles to auction, as is the case with a Robb cigar store maiden to be offered in Old Town Auctions’ June 27-28 sale.
Old Town’s owner, Matt Protos, said the 48-inch-tall, polychrome-painted figure has come from halfway around the world – “from a place where you would never expect to find an important example of Americana such as this one.”
Protos said the figure, which was carved at the workshop of Samuel Robb, appears to be all original, with only minimal in-painting and touch-up. [The cigar box that the maiden holds in her hand has been repainted.]
“Figures of this type are very appealing to collectors of both Americana and tobacco-related items,” Protos said. “We expect it to do very well in our sale, which contains a sizable selection of other tobacciana items, including tobacco signs and a single-owner collection of figural match holders.”
Old Town Auctions’ June 27-28 sale will be held at The HagerHall Conference & Event Center, 901 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, MD 21740, equidistant between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The auction will feature a Friday evening preview as well as two hours of additional previewing time immediately prior to each session. The Saturday session will commence at 10 a.m., while the Sunday session will start at noon.
View the fully illustrated electronic catalog online at www.oldtownauctions.com. For information on any lot in the sale, to leave an absentee bid, or to reserve a telephone line to bid during the sale, call 301-416-2854 or 240-291-0114, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Samuel Robb:
Samuel Robb, who was the most successful figure carver of the last quarter of the 19th century, opened a shop in 1876 at 195 Canal Street in Lower Manhattan. He not only supplied figures for William Demuth but in his own right also became the principal supplier of show figures in the New York area. In 1888 Robb moved his operation to 114 Centre Street, where he remained until 1903.