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This is the politically-incorrect version of the Jocko the Jockey hitching post. This early design depicts the right arm raised and a cartoonish young negro boy with exaggerated features, big eyes with the whites painted and large lips painted red; a large, flat nose etc. This is typical, as these pieces were painted in gaudy colors for the uniform as with racing colors. Made of cast iron, the piece has a patina with amazing original paint and standing at 36.5" including the pedestal, while it retains 95% of its paint. Research revealed that this statue was patterned after Jocko Graves, an African-American youth who served with General George Washington at the time that he crossed the Delaware to carry out his surprise attack on British forces at Trenton, NJ. The General thought him too young to take along on such a dangerous attack, and left him on the Pennsylvania side to tend to the horses and to keep a light on the bank for their return. So the story goes, the boy, faithful to his post and his orders, froze to death on the river bank during the night, the lantern still in his hand. The General was so much moved by the boy's devotion to his duty that he had a statue sculpted and cast of him, holding the lantern, and had it installed at his Mount Vernon estate.
Other past auction items that may be of interest to you.
Summer/August 2006 Catalog