Thomas Brooks collectibles



2015-06-26 10:27:08

Thomas Brooks collectibles are collectible items created by the 19th Century American carver, who specialised in advertising figures.

Thomas V. Brooks (1828-1895) was a leading American wood carver; he was well known for carving ships and shop figures, particularly his ‘leaning’ Indian statutes.Biography

Brooks was born in New York City, and apprenticed to John L. Crowell. In 1848, Brooks opened his own shop on South Street, in partnership with fellow carver Thomas Millard.

He later moved to another location in New York City, and eventually to Chicago in 1880-1881. It is thought that leading carver Samuel Anderson Robb apprenticed with Brooks around 1864.

It is believed that major elements of the New York City show-figure style were developed by Brooks during the 1850s and 1860s.

After his death 1895, Brooks’ shops were sold, but his son James continued the business from home until 1905.


Brooks was renowned for his ship carvings as well as his ‘leaning’ Indian figures, featuring V-shaped headdresses.

He also carved Turks, Punches and Sultanas, most notably for American tobacco dealer Edward Hen in 1855.

Notable works

In March 2011, it was announced that a Thomas Brooks Cigar Store Indian figure, part of the Earl Hagerman Collection was to be auctioned by Showtime Auction Services.

The figure, supposedly carved in Chicago in the 1880s, is 76 inches tall and depicts an Indian chief dressed in red and yellow clothing. The figure wears a feathered headdress, in Brooks’ typical V-shaped style.

It has an estimated value of $30,000-50,000.

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