Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Majestic Folk Art Carving Returned to Family - 85 Years Later
The Internet and Facebook in particular are amazing communication tools. I have promoted my book, Folk Art in the Attic, through Facebook with considerable success. Recently, a great grandson of Charles Vollrath, a fabulous wood carver from Chalk River, ON, read the book and was quick to notice the description of this great grandfather I had included therein. He got in touch with me via FB message to ask if I had any carvings by Charles as he wanted to give one to his father. I had none and, as I told him, I hadn't even seen a Vollrath carving in years. After all, Charles was carving actively in the 1940's and earlier. That's 75 years ago!
In any event, I told him I would keep my eyes open. About a month later I was trolling the antique shops in Ottawa and was standing talking to a shop owner when just at that moment an elderly man walked in. He was holding a shopping bag in his hand and sticking out were the antlers of a large wooden moose carving. I half jokingly asked if it was a carving by Charles Vollrath. You can imagine my surprise when the old lad turned to me and said, yes, it was!
After I had recovered from the shock, he went on tell us that his wife was from Chalk River, where Charles Vollrath lived and worked. The carving had been in he and his wife's possession for many years but the time had come to scale down. So, it was off to the antique shop with some of their objects.
After a fair bit of discussion, I was able to buy the carving from the dealer and took it home. Later that day, I sent a photo to the great grandson and quickly made arrangements to sell the carving to him so he could give it to his father.
He met me the next day at an auction in Napanee and I turned over the carving to him. It was a happy day all around when he gave it to his father who in turn sent me photos and a big thank you via FB.
Great antiques and folk art always have an equally great story associated with them. That's why I am so keen on them. The Charles Vollrath carving was no exception and provided me with another terrific story!