Harvard Art Museum Crossing Lines - Sep 5 - Jan 5

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: Figure of a Young Boy Confirmed as the Work of American Folk Art Sculptor Asa Ames

  • LAMBERTVILLE, New Jersey
  • /
  • November 20, 2018

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Lot 1124 - ASA AMES (American, 1823 – 1851) Figure of a boy, exceptionally carved and painted with great sensitivity, wood and original polychrome paint, USA, ca. 1840 43” x 15” x 8” $30,000–40,000
Rago Auctions
Lot 1124 - ASA AMES (American, 1823 – 1851) Figure of a boy, exceptionally carved and painted with great sensitivity, wood and original polychrome paint, USA, ca. 1840 43” x 15” x 8” $30,000–40,000
Rago Auctions

Lambertville, NJ - Rago’s December 1 Curiouser and Curiouser auction is filled with beautiful, intriguing and remarkable objects, as well as significant discoveries.

The most important of these discoveries is a major find in the American folk art field: a forty-three inch high figure of a young boy, a tender yet serious carving in original polychrome paint, purchased over 20 years ago in the Buffalo, New York area. Hitherto unidentified (and still an attribution as of production of the print auction catalog), this sculpture, ca 1840, has now been confirmed as the work of Asa Ames (1823 – 1851).

Relatively unknown until the American Folk Art Museum’s 2008 exhibit Asa Ames: Occupation Sculpturing, today Ames is an icon in the folk art field. It is fitting that it is the curator of Asa Ames: Occupation Sculpturing who has recently examined and authenticated this figure. We are grateful for her scholarship and expertise.

Despite the acclaim and publicity that followed Asa Ames: Occupation Sculpturing, no other works by Ames have surfaced until now. This remarkable sculpture - with its familiar determined look, sensitively detailed nose and mouth, delicate neck and throat, full eyebrows, carved hair and piercing stare that seems to follow the viewer - has been in a private collection for the last two decades. In that time, admired by collectors and featured in publications, it has been hiding in plain sight. While attributed to Asa Ames by the owner, the true authorship has not been validated until now.

Rago is pleased to offer it on December 1st, 2018 as lot 1124.

Lot 1124 - ASA AMES (American, 1823 – 1851) Figure of a boy, exceptionally carved and painted with great sensitivity, wood and original polychrome paint, USA, ca. 1840 43” x 15” x 8” $30,000–40,000
Rago Auctions

Auction Exhibition/Preview/Bidding

Saturday, November 24 - Wednesday, November 28, 12–5 p.m. Thursday, November 29, 12-7 p.m. Doors open 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 30 & December 1. Also, by appointment.
Open House featuring a panel discussion entitled Inside Outsider Art, moderated by Marion Harris, Tuesday, November 27. The auction house opens at noon, reception at 5 p.m., Panel Discussion at 6 p.m.
Rago is located midway between NYC (1 hr. 15 min) and Philadelphia (50 min). Directions online at ragoarts.com.
For those unable to attend, telephone/absentee bidding available at 609.397.9374. Online bidding available at www.bidsquare.com.

Catalogue

Printed catalogues are available for $20 at the auction house, by calling 609.397.9374 or by emailing a request toinfo@ragoarts.com
View a complete online catalogue with color images at www.ragoarts.com and www.bidsquare.com, online now.

NOTES FOR THE EDITOR


High-resolution images available on request.
About Rago Auctions: Rago is a leading U.S. auction house with $33 million in annual sales. It serves thousands of sellers and buyers yearly with global reach, personal service and competitive commissions for single pieces, collections and estates. Rago's expertise encompasses 20th/21st century design; fine art; American, European, English and Asian decorative arts and furnishings; fine jewelry and coins/currency. An internationally known venue through which to buy and sell, it offers free valuations for personal property (from a single piece to collections), as well as USPAP compliant estate and appraisal services. Rago is located midway between Philadelphia and New York with satellite offices in Westchester/Connecticut.
Next Auctions:
Design, January 19-20, 2019
Unreserved, February 22-24, 2019

END OF PRESS RELEASE


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