Samuel Anderson Robb – Cigar box

Cigar_store_figure_by_Samuel_A._Robb_(1851-1928),_William_Demuth_and_Company,_New_York_City,_1870,_zinc_and_paint_-_De_Young_Museum_-_DSC00978

Samuel Anderson Robb (1851-1928) was an American sculptor, best known for his carved wooden figures for tobacco shops and circus wagons.

Robb was born in New York City, the son of a Scottish shipwright. He apprenticed to a shipbuilder (probably Thomas V. Brooks) for five years, then went to work for a wood-carver, making figures for tobacco shops, and attending night classes at the National Academy of Design and Cooper Union.

ad3a4d86d6eb74e8056b484c0dc13153 3beb66efe3611170eac3b2e635e2769eAfter his apprenticeship, he worked for William Demuth carving tobacco figures. In 1876 he married Emma Jane Pelham and opened his own carving shop. After Emma died in 1878, Robb married Agnes Loudon in 1881, with whom he had four children. He subsequently left his family, however, and had no communication with them for seventeen years, when he encountered Agnes on the street and the family was reunited.

Robb’s wood shop was the largest in nineteenth-century New York City, and he carved a wide variety of figures, from traditional cigar store Indians to circus wagons and ventriloquist dummies.

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He closed his workshop at 114 Centre Street in 1903, after completing a set of circus wagon carvings for Barnum & Bailey

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