SOLD 1930s Articulated Railway “Red Cap”

1930s Articulated Railway “Red Cap”
By virtue of his red cap and jaunty stance, this painted, hand-carved figure appears to represent a railway porter (“Red Cap”) poised at the entrance to a station platform. The work of an anonymous maker, the figure is framed by a steepled arch and flanked by neat rows of red and white picket fencing. This one-of-a-kind piece is constructed of painted wood, tin and heavy twine. I love the way the artist has made the nose and cap of carved, applied wood. Articulated at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, the figure is a cross between a “Dancing Dan” and Jumping Jack, with movement controlled by a simple lever-operated pulley that runs underneath the platform. As an interesting historical side note, Red Caps formed the nation’s first African American union. Dimensions of the piece are 21” to the top of the steeple and 16” front to back. The figure itself is 13” tall and 4-1/2” wide. A truly inventive piece of American folk art!


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