A Unique Terracotta Sculptured Figure of a Hunchbacked Tradesman c.1940


Origin: Possibly Northern European
Period: Early / Mid Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1940
Height: 11 inches
Width: 7 inches

The well-modeled figure of a gnarled and aged hunchback, bent over in concentration carefully working or tanning leather (?) on a log, with basket and knife below, perhaps in preparation for a day at market, with fine detail showing wrinkled skin and crooked teeth.

There are two or three small areas of loss where the terracotta has chipped, with part of the base lacking and one of the feet has loss to its end, but the whole is in good condition generally considering its brittle nature.

Similar in style to that of Georgian period sculptor Anne Damer who was most famous for her work portraying animals, this sculpture shows wonderful dexterity and skill, but above all pure charisma, and was most likely made in a semi-professional studio. The date and origin are difficult to assume, but there is a possibility he is German or Austrian and he could well be earlier than the first half of the twentieth century.

A one-of-a-kind sculpture with huge grotesque charm, showing that the human figure is beautiful, even in hunchbacked and elderly form.