Lot 1208

CHARLES HENRY SAUNDERS (SHELBY, NORTH CAROLINA, 1901-1984) FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED FIGURE OF AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN BUTLER

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$200 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

CHARLES HENRY SAUNDERS (SHELBY, NORTH CAROLINA, 1901-1984) FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED FIGURE OF AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN BUTLER, the powerful, broad-shoulder, slender standing figure with delineated facial features, his arms to his side, wearing a white shirt, black bowtie, black suit and trousers. Retains his original painted surfaces. Presented on a custom wooden stand. Circa 1935. Figure: 13 1/2" H.
Published: Maine Antique Digest, September 2010, p. 22-C.
Catalogue Note: Charles Henry Saunders (1901-1984) was born to John Saunders (1872- ) and Mary Roberts (1878-1948) in Shelby, NC where he would spend his entire life. He married Hattie Eunice Herndon (1900-1989) in 1923, and the couple had one surviving daughter, Marguerite Saunders (1924-1996). Charles was an African-American taxidermist and laborer by trade who possessed an amazing ability to produce powerful and impassioned carvings. The extent of his output has yet to be discovered. However, the lots in this auction were two of four figures sold at auction in 2010, along with roughly 100 small carvings of weapons and domestic articles, some dated as late as 1976. All had been acquired from one of Saunder's descendants. Saunders carried many of his carvings in a folding showcase which he would exhibit at local schools and fairs, including the Cleveland County Negro Fair in Shelby. See lot 1209 in this auction for photos of Saunders and his family and fair ribbons he won for his carvings and taxidermy work.

Condition

Excellent condition, T-shape age crack to a knot on the back of his head, some light wear and minor losses to paint.

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The important collection of H. Marshall Goodman Jr., Richmond, VA.
Ken Farmer Auctions, 6/13/2010, lot 2194.
Purchased from a Saunders family descendant.
Exhibited: North Carolina Museum of History, 1994 to 2000.