Important example of a late 19th century carved and painted wood 'Jeu de Massacre' Target Head from a Fairground in France.
The 'Jeu de Massacre' was a popular fairground target game throughout France where , similar to the Aunt Sally games in England and 'Punks' in America, balls were thrown to knock down the figuratively carved targets- usually prominent local or national figures, politicians, enemy leaders, or foreign or ethnic stereotypes. The wooden target heads were usually hinged on to a shelf or bar so that the impact would knock them over backwards '
The 'African Negro' head is large and has a powerful presence creating an important piece of folk art. It shows the markings on the flat back where it has been hinged for the knock-down game.
Measures 16 inches high x 7 wide x 5 deep. In very solid if knocked about condition. Circa 1880-1920
Bottom photo shows a complete set of smaller Massacre figures that I bought some years ago in France. direct from an old fairground family.
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