Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsBoston MA
March 14, 2015 10:00 AMCalender

Large Kongo Carved Wood Nail Power Figure

Sell one like this
Auction: American Indian & Ethnographic Arts - 2791BLocation: BostonDate / Time: March 14, 2015 10:00AM


Large Kongo Carved Wood Nail Power Figure, c. second half 19th century, standing on a square base with one arm raised to hold a spear, the other with hand to the side, a magical bundle with glass front affixed to the abdomen, the head with incised brows and porcelain eyes, inserted with various sized forged and trade nails, with museum numbers and original cardboard tag, dark brown patina, ht. 25 in.

Provenance: Linden-Museum, Stuttgart, Germany; Purchased in 1967 by Milton S. Fox from L. Bretschneder in Munich, Germany.

Note: Provenance and purchase papers are included.

Milton S. Fox and Ruby Canfield met in Paris in the 1920s while both there to study art. He came from Cleveland, Ohio, she came from Seattle, Washington. He was enrolled at the Academie Julian then at the Ecole des Beaux-Artes, and she at the Academie Delecluse.

When they returned to the United States, they married and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Milton joined the Cleveland Museum of Art as a lecturer in the Education Department while also pursuing a career as a portrait painter. Ruby taught puppetry while continuing to paint. They had two children, Robin and Michael Allen.

In 1944, the family moved to Hollywood, California, where Milton worked as a screen writer. Then in 1950 the family moved to New York when Milton joined the newly-formed art book publishing firm, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers. Abrams was the first American publishing house to specialize in fine art books. Milton remained Editor-in-Chief until his death in 1971, overseeing the texts and production of books. Ruby died four years later.

During the last decades of their lives, Milton and Ruby were able to travel widely in Europe and Japan. During their travels, they created a collection of paintings, scrolls, pottery, and sculpture.
Estimate $40,000-60,000

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Milton S. Fox, Ruby Canfield, Germany, Munich, Stuttgart, Cleveland, Ohio, Paris, Seattle, United States, lecturer, Cleveland Museum of Art, Department of Education, portrait painter, Michael Allen, Robin Allen, Hollywood, screen writer, Harry N. Abrams Inc., Editor-in-Chief, Japan