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Counter Top Cigar Store Squaw

ca. 1875 Unidentified carved and painted wood with metal 37 3/4 x 11 5/8 x 11 5/8 in. (95.9 x 29.4 x 29.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.290 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 26A

Luce Center Label

The decline of the shipbuilding industry in the nineteenth century led many shipcarvers to turn to making shop figures. The most popular of these were cigar store Indians, which stood outside tobacco shops. The symbol of a Native American commonly appeared to advertise tobacco, which was discovered in the New World. The popularity of the figures declined by the end of the nineteenth century, however, with the introduction of electrical store signs and anti-sidewalk-obstruction laws.


Dress - ethnic - Indian dress

Ethnic - Indian

Figure female - full length


folk art

metal - iron