This is a powerful and moving wood carving of a slave woman from the mid nineteenth century. The carver, probably another slave, managed to convey an extraordinary amount of humanity and detail in this 7 inch tall bust. Her kerchief is atop her curly hair and tied in a knot at the back of her head. Her eyes are carved out and have a soulful stare. The base is approximately 3 ½ inches by 3 inches and is curved in front to truly represent a bust.
As a side note, but certainly not proof of provenance, we purchased this wonderful piece in St. Augustine, Florida, several decades ago and have cherished it ever since.
There are two narrow age cracks in the kerchief, one on the side and one on the back. Apart from those, the beautifully-figured wood is in excellent condition.
This is a striking example of American folk art that would enhance any collection.