Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Daryle Lambert: Wood Carvings can be treasures

Thanks to www.carvingworld.com

I remember when I was about ten years old and my parents bought me a Boy Scout knife. That was when I thought I had become a man. The first thing I did was find some branches and whittle on them until I had a toothpick. Not being very artistic that toothpick was about as advanced a carver as I ever became. But that wasn't true of all little boys and some of them became true artists and their carvings bring big money today.

Like most collectibles if a carving is signed by a known carver its value will escalate tremendously but that doesn't mean unsigned pieces can't command high prices also. Each piece will be evaluated on its detail and eye appeal. Often it will be very easy for you in your search to tell the carvings that were done for the commercial market and the ones that represent true art. Wood carving has been a great hobby for people of all cultures and this is one area of collectibles that include pieces from almost every continent.

Cecil Roeder, my friend that I have written about so often, found a very detailed carved bust from the African continent and valued it at over $1000. He still is in the process of selling it but if he sets the price at that you can be assured that is what its value is. I have never met anyone that does such extensive research on the items that come into his possession but I can assure you that his sales reflect the knowledge that he has.

We are all aware of duck decoys that sell for over $1,000,000 but these aren't the only carvings that bring big money. Often if the carvings aren't signed we put them in the category of folk art.

Here are just a few example of carving that could make you a happy camper. If you find this piece --a Bear with paws extended, glass eyes, painted mouth, c. 1910, 10 inches tall it should bring about $2500. Not to be outdone, an Eagle carved from pine with its wings spread, standing on a half orb base, 31 ½ by 26 ½ inches in today's market could easily sell for $5000. A carving that many would put with the duck decoys but I wouldn't, is a Swan carved from pine, painted, 20th century, 19 by 25 inches that could easily bring $4000. Any quality carving should bring $200 or more so when you see that piece sitting on a table at the next garage sale priced at $25 don't hesitate to buy it. ALWAYS BE AWARE THAT QUALITY IS WHAT COUNTS.

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