The wonders of German Christmas pyramids
  • Readers ask about MC “Five Cents” Jones carving & James Brown doll
  • An art discovery of MC “Five Cent” Jones
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    Auction Finds

    Readers ask about MC Jones art & Christmas pyramids

    Friday at Auction Finds is readers’ questions day. I try to guide readers to resources for them to determine the value of the items that they own. I’m not able to appraise their treasures, but I can do some preliminary research to get them started.

    Here are this week’s questions:

    MC "Five Cents" Jones

    Question:

    I have 5 pieces of MC “Five Cent” Jones art. 2 are very rare (witch and Santa). I really need to sell (going thru a divorce and need $). Jones gave me these pics for my business to hang and the business is sold. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

    Answer:

    MC “Five Cents” Jones was a new name for me when I came across several of his works – including the pieces in the photos – three years ago at auction. He was a Louisiana folk artist who captured the lives of rural people – their religion, their weddings, their strife, their working the fields – in his watercolors and oil paintings. He is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Jones died in 2003.

    Normally, I would first advise that you Google to find out what Jones’ works are selling for or have been sold for, using a guide I’ve compiled. Since you are in a rush to sell, you could consign your pieces to a reputable gallery in your area and have them sold there. You can find galleries through Google. Remember that you’ll have to pay the gallery a fee, so ask about the costs upfront.

    I don’t sell items on my blog or put buyers and sellers together for both security and liability reasons.

    Here are some prices I found on gallery sites that sell Jones’ art. This will give you some idea of what these folks think they are worth:

    Gordon Gallery in Gilliam, LA, where Jones lived: $250 to $600.

    Ginger Young Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC: $75 to $375.

    Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery in Paoli, PA,: $300 to $700.

    Eileen West Gallery in Rosa Beach, FL: one painting for $1,100.

    Question:

    I have a German-style Christmas carousel that is made in China that my grandma gave to me and it looks just like the one on your site. Mine is electric but it is missing some parts also. I was wondering if you have any idea who sells the electric one or where I could find one. It means a lot to me because my grandma has passed away and I would like to leave it to my kids. It is made in China but I was thinking maybe you might have come across some like it when you were researching yours. Thanks so much.

    Answer:

    The only Christmas carousels or pyramids I came across were German made, and those are the authentic ones. I love that your grandmother gave you a carousel, but since you said that it was labeled “Made in China,” I suspect that it is a knock off.

    Christmas pyramids have a long history, dating back to the 16th century. Some say that they were forerunners to the Christmas tree. During the 18th century, they were linked to the miners and woodcrafters in the Erzgebirge or Ore Mountains region in eastern Germany and are still handcrafted there. They were made to be enjoyed at Christmas time, and most still have a Christmas theme. Some are manual and some are run by an electric motor.

    You weren’t specific in your email, but I assume that you are looking for replacement parts. That may be tough for a China-made pyramid. Searching Google for “Christmas pyramid parts” and “Christmas pyramid replacement parts,” I found several sites that sell parts for German pyramids. They might have ones that fit yours, even though it is China-made.

    Contact a few sites to see if that’s the case. Send them photos. In your search, you’ll also come across a few China export companies that you could contact.

    You didn’t mention what parts were missing, so it was hard to Google for specific pieces. The German pyramids I bought at auction – the two in the photo above – were missing the fans/wings at the top and the extensions that hold the candles at the bottom. You could Google for your part by name to see if a piece comes up that resembles yours.

    If you’d like to buy a new pyramid, I’d suggest you choose one from a reputable site that sells the German structures.

     

     

     

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