Rare Wood Carved Balancing Toy Folk Art Native American
This wonderful old balancing toy was hand carved of red cedar in the form of a Native American man. He wears a red loincloth, face and body paint and a Mohawk haircut. A bentwood rod with a chip-carved ball at each end was inserted through the figure at shoulder height and allows him to balance on his slender, pointed legs. The base is a section of a cedar branch, knotholes and all. The entire piece was given a coat of clear varnish.
The balancing toy is 10 1/2 inches tall and about the same in width across the wooden balls. There are two fine cracks in the base, one each on the front and the back. It's in otherwise great condition. It was expertly carved and once the Indian is balanced on the base, it will rock back and forth with the slightest breath or breeze. We believe it was made in the Northeast United States, probably New York around the Mohawk River area (hence the haircut) and in the first half of the twentieth century. It's fun to imagine a father sitting by the fire in a cabin in the Adirondacks, carving this delightful, one of a kind toy for his children.