COLLECTION: Decorative Sculpture

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The Fiddler

1926-1937
Origin: America, Southeast, North Carolina, Balfour
Overall: 25 x 13 3/4 x 11in. (63.5 x 34.9 x 27.9cm)
Walnut, glass, and brass wire
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1961.701.14
Solid walnut carving of a seated man holding a fiddle tucked under his chin. The figure in the shape of an unclothed man with broad shoulders and powerful arms on a heavy torso above small legs with boots on. The face is round with close-set yellow glass eyes and a small pursed mouth. The fiddle has metal strings that can be tuned tuning pegs. The sculpture sits on a small wooden block or plinth.
Label:Edgar McKillop was a blacksmith by trade but had an imaginative spirit and a fondness for music. His daughter wrote that "Edgar Alexander McKillop was a talented man. He could cook and sew and make rustic and fancy furniture. He could make anything from wood or any kind of metal. He was an inventor. We don't know of any kind of work that he could not do." He made several musical instruments carved and inlaid with animal motifs. Given his fondness for music and instrument making, his Fiddler, carved from a solid block of walnut, may have been intended as a self-portrait.
Provenance:Pauline Sumner, Bat Cave, N. C.; possibly DeBrada Fisher, Waynesville, N. C.; Louis Stuart, New York, N.Y.