Featured Ivory Boxer on Pedestal - Why?

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by 2manybooks, May 7, 2023.

  1. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    A recent acquisition that I found impossible to resist. But I have no clue as to why he might have been created. Has anyone seen anything similar? About 5" high.

    Ivory Boxer 1.jpg Ivory Boxer 2.jpg Ivory Boxer 3.jpg Ivory Boxer 4.jpg Ivory Boxer 5.jpg
     
  2. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Looks like Joe Louis.

    Debora

    images.jpg
     
  3. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    And, apparently, there are Joe Lewis sculptures.

    Debora

    s-l1600.jpg
     
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  4. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Similar stance.

    Debora

    m-5031.jpg
     
  5. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    In hand, the features do not look African American. But an interesting suggestion.
     
  6. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Wonder if it wasn't originally the head of a walking stick, now salvaged as art.
     
  7. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Another interesting suggestion! Trying him out in my hand, he seems a little too small, and uncomfortably lumpy. But possibly for a swagger stick.
     
  8. bosko69

    bosko69 Well-Known Member

    Amazing find 2Man,fine folk art.
     
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  9. ulilwitch

    ulilwitch Well-Known Member

    Maybe a chess boxer?
     
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  10. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    At 5", a pretty big chess set - but not impossible.
     
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  11. Potteryplease

    Potteryplease Well-Known Member

    IMG_6418.jpeg

    Looks like he's popping out of an old-school telephone earpiece.
     
  12. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    There certainly is a resemblance. But I don't know what the bell end of a phone earpiece looks like, to see if one could have been modified as a stand. There does appear to be a filled hole in the center of the stand, that could have been where a wire went through. The stand, as it is, is 3 1/8" high. The material is uncertain - not obviously wood, perhaps something like bakelite, with a black lacquer coating.

    If it is a phone piece, it might argue more for a folk art piece.
     
  13. Rayo56

    Rayo56 Well-Known Member

    And it's Bill Goldberg? LOL!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Potteryplease

    Potteryplease Well-Known Member

    That's probably too short to be a phone piece... just resembles one.
     
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  15. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Yeah. A quick internet search and ear pieces appear to have been 5 1/2" tall.

    Debora
     
  16. It certainly seems like folk art, I wonder whether the artist got lazy before finishing the bottom half? or it broke off and was replaced with something someone thought would be sightly enough... :playful:

    OP, I know you say the features don't look African American to you, but this strikes me as somewhat of a smoking gun...being modeled after Joe Louis would also fit with the likely age of the piece if it's an ivory carved figurine - early 20th century?

    And I still think chess piece is a good guess even if it would be a quite large one.

    Perhaps it was conceived to be kind of a bust style statue, but due to the necessity of including the arms - showing a boxer - it resulted in the somewhat awkward half-man half-pedestal centaur being.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2023
  17. ola402

    ola402 Well-Known Member

    So weird! The face looks glued on to me, like something happened to the original face and a new face was substituted. My guess is that the original figure was broken and this repair (adding a base) was the best they could do. Since I hate boxing, I could easily have walked past this guy and left him alone.
     
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  18. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Intriguing piece, and very well carved.
    Even on the photos I can see a European nose and a square jawline, whereas Joe Louis had a much more oval face.

    The stance is one of those boxer stances, could be anyone.
     
  19. bosko69

    bosko69 Well-Known Member

    Could be a well-done prison,POW,folk art piece-w/o any clues...?
     
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  20. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It would have had to have been a professional ivory carver who ended up a prisoner or POW, this is excellent quality.
     
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