A Carved and Paint Decorated Cane in the form of a Zouave. Attributed to George Robert Lawton (1813-1885), Scituate, Providence County, Rhode Island, circa 1840-1850

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Length: 33 ½ inches; head length: 2 inches

The handle carved and painted with a soldier wearing fez and moustache, with leopard tail trim.

The folk art figure carved and painted at the top of this cane wears the fez and mustache of a Zouave, a group of Civil War soldiers who modeled their uniform after the French infantry regiments serving in North Africa. The leopard tail motif of the trim makes reference to the ferocity of the soldiers, who were also called “Louisiana Tigers.”

George Robert Lawton was a prolific woodworker. Several pieces attributed to his hand include boxes, carved animals and picture frames. For a detailed accounting of his work, see David A. Schorsch, “Discovered: Lawton, Not Colvin”, Maine Antique Digest (March, 1987): pp. 18-19D.

Don Walters, Northampton, Massachusetts

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