Rustic Ink Stand
© Estate of Charles J. Dobbins
Rustic ink stand with twisted and shaped wood components, places for writing paper, pens and pencils, place to hold letters and a place to put a clock or photograph.
The makers of fanciful rustic stands, lamps, magazine racks, and other objects created from leftover wood such as rhododendron and mountain laurel are often difficult to identify. The maker of this stand, marked “Blowing Rock” with punched letters, went unidentified for years. Collector and researcher L. A. Rhyne discovered the family of artist Charles Dobbins, who operated a shop on US Route 321 not far from Blowing Rock, NC. A characteristic piece was owned by the family, signed “C. J. Dobbins, Patterson, NC,” and dated 1933. Rhyne’s investigation, documented in Voices, the publication of the North Carolina Folk Art Society, was the first to provide credit to Dobbins for this previously anonymous rustic work. This stand, with its whimsical snake decoration carved from laurel and twig with embellishments, was both decorative and useful. Its functional features—a space at the top to hold a clock, a writing utensil holder on the lower left, and a flat space for a pad of paper at the center bottom—are typical of Dobbins’s work.
Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Lynne Poirier-Wilson
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