John Scholl (1827-1916) emigrated from Wurtemberg, Germany in 1853, settling in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. By 1870, Scholl had moved to Germania, Pennsylvania and he appears in the census lists of that year as a "house carpenter." He embellished his buildings with fanciful trim and decorative elements, such as carved garlands, wooden snowflakes, and crosses. His distinctive sculptures, such as the example offered here, bear close comparison to his architectural ornaments, and additionally he employed the birds and tulips that reflect the Pennsylvania German influence he was working in. He painted them in bright colors, such as gold, white, soft blue, green, red and mustard yellow. Working with a jackknife and a band saw, he also made toys, such as ferris wheels and carousels. He kept most of his pieces, but eventually opened his parlor to visitors who came to see his work. After his death in 1916, the Scholl family retained his collection until 1967, when it was sold to Adele Earnest and Cordelia Hamilton, owners of the Stony Point Folk Art Gallery.
For more information on John Scholl, see Gatherine Grier, Celebrations in Wood: The Carvings of John Scholl (Harrisburg 1979); Adele Earnest, Folk Art in America, A Personal View (Exton, PA, 1984); Robert Bishop, American Folk Art Sculpture (New York, 1974); Chuck and Jan rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art, Encyclopedia of American Folk Art and Artists (New York, 1991).