A Magnificent Early Tobacconist's Trade Sign

In the Form of a close to Life-Size Native American
With Stylised Headdress
Hand Carved and Polychrome Painted Wood
Scottish or American, c.1840

60" high x 25 ¼" wide x 21" deep (excl..Plinth)
Plinth: 17.25" high x 26" wide x 21" deep

Provenance: Private Collection, Cromarty, Scotland

Due to its geographic advantages, Glasgow was one of Europe's largest tobacco importing ports, from the mid eighteenth to late nineteenth century. The Scottish Merchants dealt directly with plantation owners in Virginia and their trade was so prosperous that it gave rise to the Scottish "Tobacco Lords". Native Americans are known to have introduced the smoking of Tobacco to European settlers, so subsequently, "Cigar Store Indians" became the first figurative trade signs used by tobacconists in Britain. Large tobacco trade sign figures of this type are also known to have been imported into Glasgow along with the tobacco cargos. It is uncertain if this particularly fine and early example is of American or Scottish origin.

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Collections: All Collections, Folk Art