The auction will provide bidders with an eclectic and exciting mix of offerings: Southern folk pottery, circus and carnival freak show items, folk erotica, a collection of early hand-made black Americana items, self-taught artworks, masterpieces and more. Slotin Auction specializes in bringing the strange, the unusual and the vanishing America to auction.
“We have a well-rounded catalog, with many different artists and items. There is much to choose from,” said Steve Slotin of Slotin Auction. He added, “Folk art, while deeply rooted in history and the American experience, is evolving, like any other art form. This sale will reflect emerging trends. It sounds like a cliché, but there really is something for everybody in this sale.”
The April 21 session will kick off promptly at 10 a.m. Eastern, with more than 125 lots of face jugs, the crowd-pleasing expressions of Southern folk pottery crafted by some of the most famous artisans in the field: the Meaders family (Lanier, Reggie, A.G., Clete and others); Billy Ray Hussey, members of the Hewell family, Marie and Brenda Rogers, B.B. Craig and others.
Circus and carnival items will feature a paint on canvas “Champion Sword Swallower” sideshow banner attributed to Neiman Eisman (circa 1930s-’40s), 118 inches by 90 inches (est. $3,000-$4,000); a pair of nymphs carousel side, carved and polychromed painted wood, attributed to Allen Hirschell (est. $3,000-$5,000); knock-down dolls; shooting targets; and more.
Several tobacconist figures will be sold, to include an 1875 cigar store Indian, carved and polychromed wood with gesso, 76 inches tall (est. $12,000-$17,000); a rare wrapped and stuffed doll on horseback, 15 inches high, made of carved wood and mixed media (est. $2,000-$3,000); and a 93-inch-tall Indian figure, carved wood with layered paint (est. $1,000-$2,000).
Two lots certain to spark bidding wars are an unusual cut molded sheet metal centaur weather vane made by an anonymous craftsman around the third quarter of the 19th century, large at 60 inches by 71 inches (est. $8,000-$10,000); and an original graphite on joined paper by Martin Ramirez, titled Caballero and depicting an armed man on a horse (est. $35,000-$45,000).
A pair of works by William Hawkins will also get paddles wagging. The first is a 1982 enamel on Masonite landscape rendering with figures titled Trail Riders, 60 inches by 48 inches (est. $20,000-$30,000). The other is a 1982 enamel on paneling with glitter painting titled AIU Citadel, artist signed and dated with a birth date, 39 inches by 50 inches (est. $10,000-$20,000).
Sister Gertrude Morgan is a name synonymous with Slotin Auction, and this auction has several of her works, to include an unsigned paint and ink on odd-shaped paper titled Revelation (est. $4,000-$6,000); a paint on paper board titled Peter, James and John (est. $4,000-$7,000); and a circa 1970s paint with watercolor work titled Light With Self-Portrait (est. $3,000-$5,000).
Clementine Hunter will also be represented in the sale, with a 1950s oil on artist board titled Zinnias at a Funeral (est. $5,000-$8,000); a circa-1945 paint on paper titled Bringing Mother a Cool Drink (est. $5,000-$8,000); a circa-1967 oil on canvas board titled Nativity Scene; and a circa-1960s oil on artist board titled Leaving Church on a Sunday (est. $2,000-$4,000).
Sam Doyle is another huge fan favorite. Offered in the auction will be a paint on roofing tin, initialed and titled Whooping Boy (est. $8,000-$12,000); a paint on roofing tin titled Penn School Drummer 1920 (est. $8,000-$12,000); a signed oil on window shade titled Rambeling (sic) Rose (est. $2,000-$3,000); and a paint on tin tray titled Fruit Tray (est. $1,000-$2,000).
Perhaps the king of the crowd-pleasers is the late Howard Finster, a true superstar in the folk art galaxy. This sale will include his 1981 paint on found paneling titled The Words of Jesus (est. $7,000-$10,000); a paint and marker on board titled Black Cat of Desert Storm (est. $3,000-$5,000); and a 1983 tractor enamel on board titled Vision of Earth Cheetah (est. $2,000-$4,000).
Another name to be reckoned with is Mose Tollliver. About a dozen of his works will be sold, including a paint on Masonite titled Something Like a Wild Man (est. $1,000-$2,000); a very early, signed paint on Masonite titled Mose With Wife in Flowers (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a signed, circa 1970s-1980s oil on canvas titled Erotic Couple Behind Bars (est. $1,000-$2,000).
Over 20 original works by Jimmy Lee Sudduth, taking up two full catalog pages, will cross the block. Featured will be an 8-foot-tall paint and mud on board of a Tall Red-Headed Woman (est. $1,000-$3,000); her counterpart, a Tall Black-Headed Woman (est. $1,000-$3,000); and a signed paint and mud on board of a man with banjo, simply titled ME (est. $1,000-$2,000).
The auction will feature numerous “New Discoveries,” supremely talented artists who have flown beneath the radar—until now. One of these is Anthony de Bernardin (1889-1972), a self-taught Pennsylvania painter who made paintings of his neighborhood as well as other subjects believed to have come from photos and magazines. Sixteen of his works will be sold.
In the 1960s, a small group of Shona sculptors from Zimbabwe, Africa burst onto the art scene worldwide, prompting Newsweek magazine to write, “Shona sculpture is perhaps the most important new art form to emerge from Africa this century.” A dozen examples of these original, hand-signed sculptures, by the founding fathers of the Shona movement, will be in the auction.
Previews will be held Thursday, April 19, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and on Friday, April 20, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., or by appointment. In addition to online bidding participation, phone and absentee bids will also be taken.
Slotin Auction’s next big event after this one will be Folk Fest, the 19th annual summer extravaganza, featuring 100 galleries and dealers from across the nation, slated for Aug. 17-19. This event will at the North Atlanta Trade Center in Norcross, Ga., just north of Atlanta off I-85.
For details call Slotin Auction at (770) 532-1115 or (404) 403-4244. Or, e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Slotin Auction and the calendar of upcoming events, log on to www.slotinfolkart.com. Updates are posted frequently.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE