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Prince

1930-1935
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Coopersburg
Overall: 15 15/16 x 17 1/2 x 5 1/2in. (40.5 x 44.5 x 14cm)
Painted wood
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1981.701.1
Life-sized painted carving of a small terrier dog standing foursquare. He has a short cropped tail and large, bat-like ears that stand straight up; one is turned forward and one back. He is painted white with two large black spots on his anatomical R. side, one on his L. The large black spot on his face forms a "mask" over eyes and ears, and his nose is painted black; his tail and a spot around it on his haunches painted black. He has large brown eyes and a small pointed ‚ nose, giving him a fox-like face. Vertical strokes of brown paint over his toes gives the appearance of claws. His body is formed primarily of three sections of wood in vertical plane, with smaller fills and patches also visible through paint.
Label:The Folk Art Center's carving was modeled after a flesh-and-blood fox terrier named Prince, who was the pet of the three Weil boys: Russell (b. 1917), Alvin (b. 1922), and Harold (b. 1924). Alvin Weil remembers Prince as "a good mouser" who met his demise under the wheels of a butcher's truck at the age of seven. Shortly after the dog's death, the boys' father created this entrancing life-size sculpture. Perhaps the carving was intended as a consolation for the boys, but likely it helped the entire family come to terms with its grief over the loss of a lively and beloved companion.
Alvin Weil remembers another purpose served by the carving, although he feels it was unintentional on his father's part: set by the front porch door in summertime, the carving deterred traveling salesmen from calling! [note 1]
Provenance:Donald R. and Faye Walters, Goshen, Indiana
Mark(s):None found