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19th Century Model of a Wagon Jack
This may be one of the most unusual pieces of Folk Art we have come across. This wooden piece is two towers attached to a base supporting a double lever mechanism. By depressing the upper arm 4 1/2 inches the lower arm (hook) raises by 2 inches. There is a fancy brass pin that holds the upper arm down half way, raising the lower arm and hook just 1 inch. We now understand this to be a model of a wagon jack, perhaps used as a salesman's sample.
The structure is all wood with typical 19th century hardware, including the smith-made hook and a fancy brass pin to hold the upper arm. It measures 33 inches long by 23 inches tall and 8 1/2 inches wide at the feet. The construction is mortise and tenon with pins or wedges.
The original surface is a red wash with red, black and gold paint. The tops of the two towers are nicely shaped and gilded. One tower has the initials P.W. and A.D. on one side and the date, 1867, on the other. The base has lozenge designs in gold and bordered in black on a red field.
The top lever carries an inventory tag marked Neumann & Vettin, Amsterdam, Fine Art Packers. It is reasonable to believe this piece was part of a larger shipment of folk art at some time.
Structurally it is in excellent condition with no losses and no repairs. There was some minor paint loss mainly to the base which we had professionally restored.
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