Julius Melchers was known for his figures that were carved from weathered ship's masts. He posed his figures in simple, straightforward poses and was meticulous in the carving of their authentic and traditional clothing. The present lot exhibits many of the features associated with Melchers, including the carving from a single piece of wood and the rigid body posture.
Melchers was born in Prussia and immigrated to New York in 1852. He was trained as an artist in Paris and relocated to Detroit to join a friend who had recently moved there. He was hired by the first tobacco shop in Detroit to carve an Indian trade figure and was soon inundated with orders from other stores.