We are privileged to present a Samuel Anderson Robb Cigar Store Indian at our May 5th auction. Though these hand-carved statues were once frequent sights in front of 19th century cigar stores, original examples are now extremely rare, and highly collectable due to the resurgent popularity of cigars and related memorabilia. Exceptional pieces have been known to sell for over $100,000.
This figure comes to auction from Reese’s Antiques of Philadelphia, who have been its sole owners since the 1940s. Not only is it an important and rare piece of American folk art, but over the seven decades that it stood at the door of Reese’s Antiques, attracting customers, praise, and interested buyers, it has been an emblem of Philadelphia’s Pine Street “antiques row.” It has never before been offered for sale. The statue remains in remarkably good condition for its age, with minimal abrasions and wear. It appears to sport its original paint, with only a portion of the right arm bearing a more recent restoration. This minor addition easily blends in tone with the original paint.