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Very Rare American Paper Mache Black Character Doll "Cleota" Attributed to Leo Moss

Lot Number: 
68
16" (41 cm.) Hand-pressed paper mache head with flanged neck, rich black complexion, sculpted black hair in very tight curls, sculpted angled black brows, heavily lidded inset brown eyes with black eyeliner, broad rounded nose, closed mouth with very full downcast lips in wistful expression, very plump cheeks, three modeled tears on cheeks, brown muslin torso and upper legs, composition lower limbs, wearing white cotton dress and checkered pinafore, undergarments, shoes, stockings. Condition: generally excellent. Marks: L.M. (head) Cleota 1920 (hand lettered on torso). Comments: attributed to Leo Moss, circa 1920, the itinerant black carpenter of Georgia is believed to have created a small number of one-of-a-kind dolls depicting children of his small town world; his materials were those found-at-hand; for example, the left-over scraps of wall paper from his day job. The tearful-faced children were signature to his style, and each was created uniquely. Value Points: rare American doll with outstanding sculpting and portraiture, enhanced by the mysterious background of the artist, superb state of preservation. 
Realized Price: 
$23,000
Presale Estimate: 
8000/11,000