Charles Hart (1862-1960)
Gloucester, MA 1936
5 in. tall
Charles Hart penguins have long been favorites amongst collectors of American folk art. As early as 1949, Allen Eaton chronicled Hart's mastery in carving these aquatic birds of the southern hemisphere. A large Hart penguin carving presented to Admiral Byrd, noted South Pole explorer, was exhibited in a Massachusetts decoy exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. This carving has all the features that astute collectors look for: an inletted bill, applied shaped wings, grooved feet, and beautiful rich patina commensurate with the bird's age. Signed and dated on the bottom of the base. Original paint with minor wear and touch-up to "puppy chew" on bill.
LITERATURE: Richard Bishop, "American Folk Sculpture," New York, NY, 1985, p. 177, similar carving illustrated. Allen H. Eaton, "Handicrafts of New England," New York, NY, 1949, p. 183.
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