Currently up for auction we have this beautiful and rare carved bible. This piece comes from a family in Thurmont MD. Dated 1943 on the back. Fantastic deep raised relief carving by a highly sought after artist. Fine detail, including the pages, made from one solid piece of wood. This fantastic piece is up for auction in Sale 268 which ends 1/17 5-9pm. Click here to bid.
The Legend of Frank Feather… A historic story about a solo traveler who roamed the Southern PA/MD region during the early 1900’s… He used his talents and abilities in exchange for food, water, & shelter. Antiques Roadshow says Frank Feather’s work is some of the greatest they’ve ever seen.
For nearly half a century, Frank Feather roamed the streets of Franklin & Washington County. Frank Feather was a unique and mysterious man who arrived in Hagerstown around 1899 at the age of 22. There was a lot of skepticism as to exactly why he showed up, although to this day no claims have ever been validated. He was a traveling hobo who would move from town to town and offer his services to the kind folks who welcomed him into their home or barn. He was a poor man, never making much money and never keeping a sustainable job, however his talents and abilities that he was blessed with were enough to sustain him with food, water, and shelter. Feather was a talented and humble man, traveling around from town to town offering his services to those who would take him in.
He would visit local shoe shops to get scrap wood for his beautiful carvings. He was a self-reliant man, not depending on the goodwill of his peers to support him, often he would sell his creations for $3-$4 a piece or gift them to his recipients in exchange for the food and shelter he would receive. Often times he would have to sleep in the barn and in certain instances he would sleep at the local hobo camp.
Feathers has a very rare and exclusive carving style that is very hard to find in the woodcarving industry. His carvings usually were religious in nature and say things such as “Faith, Hope, & Charity” or he would write biblical scriptures in a beautiful and elegant manner. His carvings are limited today, and typically hard to come by. When they do come around, get your checkbooks out, because these collections are not cheap to own. Read what the Public Opinion has to say about local Frank Feather pieces here. Frank Feather’s pieces have been known to sell for multiple thousands of dollars and sometimes even tens of thousands. It is a very unique piece of history and we are honored to be hosting such a memorable piece of our community’s heritage.
The Cane & Wall Rack featured above were items in one of our previous auctions. The Wall Rack has the name “A. Risser” and is dated 1914 in dedication to its former owner Amos E. Risser. The Cane has a tribute as well naming “Amos E. Risser” wrapped around the top as well as the biblical verse John 14:6 wrapping up the entire cane and it is dated 1912. The Risser family hosted Frank Feather on their farm near Greencastle, PA. Amos and his family allowed Frank Feather known as the “hobo” to his family to stay with them for long durations of time, at one point almost a full winter. In exchange for this he carved objects for them, two of which are the Frank Feather Cane & Wall Rack featured above. Feather’s work is extremely scarce and highly sought after. This fine example of Feather’s art has wonderful high relief and incised carvings. The cane was carved for, and bears the name of Amos E. Risser in high relief near the top. Amos owned a farm near Greencastle, PA. The year 1912 is in high relief near the bottom. The words ” JESUS SAITH I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIGHT. NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER BUT BY ME” are carved in high relief in a spiral pattern from top to bottom. Interesting fact, the actual Bible verse (John 14:6) says … “Truth and the Life” not Truth and the Light. This cane has been kept in the Risser family since creation and has been handed down through four generations.
Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit more about the history of Frank Feather, and if you are interested in bidding on the Frank Feather Carved Bible mentioned above, please click here and place your bids.