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1930s Boxing Automaton Influenced by Louis-Schmeling

1930s Boxing Automaton Influenced by Louis-Schmeling

The significance of the boxing matches between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling extended far beyond the ring, with racial and national overtones felt throughout the globe. This fabulous piece of Afro-Americana is a working automaton featuring black and white fighters in the ring. This is from the esteemed Black Americana Collection of Allen Liffman. This ambitious folk art piece is fully mechanical, electrified and shows two ethnically exaggerated fighters, based on the cultural undertones of Louis & Schmeling. Schmeling is the beefy Lennox carved in wood and Joe Louis the wild African with black fur hair and zebra trunks in cloth. The detail is marvelous, with added figures of ring referee and pickaninny ring boy with tin bucket. Fine art deco look staged in chrome. Like a stage in a movie theater (as if the fight were shown on movie screens of the day as they were). Ring is best of all with canvas mat, striped ropes and all the extras. When plugged in, the lights above the ring work and the motor engages, however the boxers are not attached to be suspended above the ring as intended, which appears to be in need of only minor repair.


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