Patriotic Sand Picture in a Bottle, Andrew Clemens, McGregor, Iowa, late 19th century, multicolored sand arranged in a glass bottle, one side of the bottle depicting an eagle in flight and an American flag, the other side with the inscription "Silurian Sands/Mississippi River" flanking a floral spray, with wavy line, marbled, and geometric bands, a printed maker's label affixed to the top is inscribed "Pictured Rock Sands Put up by A. Clemens, Deaf Mute, McGregor, Iowa," ht. 8 3/4 in.
Provenance: A Massachusetts historical society.
Note: Andrew Clemens was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1857. At the age of five he became deaf and mute after an illness. He earned his livelihood by painstakingly arranging colored sand to make pictures in glass bottles. The sand came from the naturally colored sandstone in the Pictured Rocks area of Iowa. He worked in McGregor, Iowa, and for a short time he made the pictures and exhibited his work at a South State dime museum in Chicago, Ill.