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Folk Art Decorative Objects

FOLK ART STYLE

Folk art is a genre of art that shares the creator’s traditions, offering not just an artistic display but an opportunity to learn about a culture. Antique, new and vintage folk art typically reflects a heritage or location. It can include utilitarian objects and handmade art as diverse as weather vanes, duck decoys, portraiture and paintings, carnival art and quilts.

Quilts are a quintessential part of American folk art but their roots are international, with quilting dating back to Ancient Egypt. The practice spread to Europe and was especially prominent in the Middle Ages, with one of the oldest surviving examples being the Tristan quilt made in Sicily in the 14th century. They were made as bedcovers and clothing, including as a layer for knights to wear beneath their armor. Native American folk art includes functional objects reflecting their heritage, such as baskets, textiles and wooden pieces.

Elsewhere, the vast range of work associated with Mexican folk art includes masks made by Mexican craftspeople for traditional celebrations and ceremonial dances. Mexican masks are part of the country’s folk-art traditions that go back thousands of years and play a role in festivals and theater.

Works in the folk art tradition are valuable because of the skills involved, like weaving, hand-carving wood and even stonework. Many folk artists are self-taught, while some train as apprentices within their community. By using available materials and taking a personal approach to their creations, artists ensure each piece is unique and conveys a story.

During the Great Depression, artistic materials in America were hard to come by, so artisans used discarded wood from cigar boxes and shipping crates to make highly stylized, notched pieces — most often picture frames and boxes — that are today sought after by collectors. This folk art style is called tramp art and was popular from roughly 1870 until the 1940s.

Folk art brings vibrant culture and traditions into your home. Browse an extensive collection of antique, new and vintage folk art on 1stDibs.

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Style: Folk Art
Jim Rose Barn House Structure, Welded Steel Sculpture Made with Salvaged Steel
Located in Chicago, IL
This is a welded steel sculpture made by furniture creator Jim Rose. It is sustainable design created from salvaged and recycled steel panels left over from his larger projects. Thes...
Category

2010s American Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Steel

Carved Wood Figure of a Dog
Located in Essex, MA
In a seated position. Provenance: Dingman Estate.
Category

Late 19th Century English Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Early 19th Century Gilt and Gesso Picture Frame President James Polk Estate
Located in Santa Monica, CA
Early 19th century gilt and gesso picture frame. Found in President James K. Polk's estate in Tennessee. Fantastic alligatored gilded surface. Please see images. There are losses to ...
Category

19th Century American Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Gesso, Wood

Horse Dala Svedese Anni 30
Located in Roma, IT
A Dala horse (Swedish: Dalahäst) is a traditional wooden figurine of a horse from the Swedish province of Dalarna. In the past the Dala horse was mainly used as a toy for children, w...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

19th Century Life Sized Horse Trade Sign from a Tack Shop in Pennsylvania
Located in Charleston, SC
19th century life sized horse trade sign from a tack shop in Pottsville, PA. Horse is made of cast iron, wood, and papier mâché. The tail and cast iron ears are removable. Original f...
Category

19th Century American Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Iron

Moroccan Decorative Dragon Sculpture Handbuilt and Handpainted by Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Hand built decorative dragon sculpture - big format - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - decorative motifs painted with a goat hair brush made by the potter...
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

Vintage Carved Wood and Poly Chrome Painted Figural Musical Clock Figurine
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This vintage hand carved and hand painted musical clock is unsigned, but presumed to have been made in or near Austria in circa 1950 in a Folk Art style. The carving depicts a male f...
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Moorish Heads Vases Collection "Acireale", Set of 2 Pieces, Handmade in Italy
Located in San Miniato PI, IT
This collection is a work of art that make a statement in modern décor and in the modern cultural art world. It can be used as a vase containing flowers, or as a beautiful centerpiec...
Category

2010s Italian Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Gold Leaf

Carved and Painted Merganser
Located in Nantucket, MA
Red breasted Merganser Drake carved in a sleeping pose. Made from Tupelo wood with carved eyes, pinned head, attached flat lead weight and leather line tie Great painted antique sur...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary North American Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Softwood

Royal Doulton "the Carpet Seller" Moroccan Decorative Porcelain Figurine
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Royal Doulton "the carpet seller," Moroccan figurine of a carpet seller. Made in England, by Royal Doulton England, the "Carpet Seller," Royal Doulton, H.N. 1464, finely painted porc...
Category

Mid-20th Century English Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

19th Century Wrought Iron Dog Sculpture or Paperweight Of A Retriever
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
19th Century wrought iron dog sculpture or paperweight of a retriever.
Category

Late 19th Century English Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wrought Iron

Moroccan Brass Berber Tribal Flask
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Great decorative Moroccan Tribal flask.. African decorative brass with front richly decorated with embossed brass and overlay. The valve stem turns and open. Truly a conversation mu...
Category

Early 20th Century Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass

1982 Washington Ledesma 3 Breasted Goddess Ceramic Vase
By Washington Ledesma
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Ceramic vessel by artist Washington Ledesma dated 1982 N.Y.C. Etched and painted to depict 4 three breasted goddesses. Vibrant navy blue. Wonderful statement piece to add to any shel...
Category

1980s American Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Earthenware, Pottery

Sculptural Tramp Art Double Sided Frame and Candleholder
Located in Mt Kisco, NY
A magnificent and elaborate hand-carved wood sculptural frame. It is mirror image double sided. The base reads "1945" & "SOUVENIR" on both sides. The frame is a heart shape with intr...
Category

1940s American Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Moroccan Decorative Dog Sculpture Handbuilt and Handpainted by Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Hand built decorative dog sculpture - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - decorative motifs painted with a goat hair brush made by the potter to apply natura...
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

Mexican Burnished Clay Hand Oaxaca Sculpture Mixtec Ceramic with Red Face
Located in Queretaro, Queretaro
This Mexican red ceramic clay hand sculpture is a piece by artist Manuel Reyes. Made with clay from Oaxaca and Zacatecas, painted with oxides from the region. Done with the hand-mode...
Category

2010s Mexican Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic, Clay

Jim Rose Barn House Structure, Welded Steel Sculpture Made with Salvaged Steel
Located in Chicago, IL
This is a welded steel sculpture made by furniture creator Jim Rose. It is sustainable design created from salvaged and recycled steel panels left over from his larger projects. Thes...
Category

2010s American Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Steel

Afghan Dog Sculptures, by Stephen Huneck, Vermont, 1991, Signed and Dated
By Steven Huneck
Located in Downingtown, PA
Dog sculptures, Stephen Huneck, Vermont, Afghan hounds, Signed and dated 1991 The cast aluminum mirrored pair depicts standing long-haired Afghan dogs known as "Diggi Doo". ...
Category

1990s American Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Papua New Guinea Driftwood Carved Crocodile Alligator Boat Prow Art Sculpture
Located in Dayton, OH
An impressive mid 20th century crocodile/alligator head boat prow. Carved from driftwood with meticulous detail. Villagers in Papua New Guinea adorned their boats and canoes with all...
Category

Mid-20th Century Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Driftwood

18th Century Swedish Root Wood Bowl
Located in Helsingborg, SE
Delightful 18th century Swedish root wood bowl with fantastic patinated surface, Ca 1780 Sweden.
Category

18th Century European Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Antique 1930s Judge Theatre Papier Mâché Head from Paris
Located in London, GB
Antique 1930s judge theatre papier mâché head from Paris This lot is a rare original 1930s papier mâché French theatre heads. This item was obtained via a private collection in Ly...
Category

1930s French Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Paper

Pair of Faux Bois Iron Log Sculptures
Located in Houston, TX
Unusual vintage pair of faux bois iron log planters or sculptures. This unique pair of faux bois sculptures would look great as a cocktail table accessory or in a bookcase. Real conv...
Category

Mid-20th Century Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Iron

Early Leo Sewell Assembledge, Sculpture, Seated Male Figure
By Leo Sewell
Located in Buffalo, NY
Early Leo Sewell Assembledge. Sculpture, seated male figure, signed and dated, 1977. A charming array of whimsical found objects, Italian chair included.
Category

1970s American Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Early 20th Century Hand Carved and Painted Chalkware Chimpanzee
Located in Brooklyn, NY
American painted chalkware chimpanzee circa 1920s. These figurines date back as far as the 1800s and were often used as carnival prizes. Chalkware is composed of plaster of Paris (a ...
Category

Early 20th Century American Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Plaster

19th Century Swedish Folk Art Bowl
Located in Helsingborg, SE
Swedish Wabi-Sabi ;) 19th century Swedish folk art turned bowl. Very well made, light, thin walls and with fantastic patination, dated 1868.
Category

19th Century European Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Moroccan Decorative Dragon Sculpture Handbuilt and Handpainted by Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Hand built decorative dragon sculpture - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - decorative motifs painted with a goat hair brush made by the potter to apply nat...
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

Moroccan Decorative Fish Sculpture Handbuilt and Handpainted by Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Hand built decorative fish sculpture - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - decorative motifs painted with a goat hair brush made by the potter to apply natur...
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

Moroccan Terracotta Candle Holder Handbuilt and Handpainted by the Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Handbuilt freckles terracotta candle holder - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - made in the Moroccan Rif mountains by Houda Approximate measurements: 1....
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

Moroccan Brown Candle Holder Handbuilt and Handpainted by the Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Handbuilt brown candle holder - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - slip applied with natural pigments as manganese oxide. - incised decoration - made in the M...
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

Vintage Instructional Mushroom Model
Located in Houston, TX
Vintage instructional mushroom model from an art school in France. Entire set pictured together in last three images.
Category

1940s French Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Concrete

Swedish Folk Art, Large Unique Early 19th Century Farmers Bowl Painted Wood
Located in Langserud, SE
An antique and unique organic wooden bowl. With highly appealing patina, faded painting on the bowl makes this a unique and desirable piece. Produced in Sweden, early 19th century. ...
Category

Early 19th Century Swedish Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Achille D'Orsi Sculpture Pescatorello, Early 1900s
By Achille D'Orsi
Located in bari, IT
Bronze sculpture on black marble base depicting a young boy holding some pots. Engraved signature of the artist. Manufactured in Italy, early 20th century.
Category

Early 1900s Italian Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Bronze

Moroccan Decorative Horse Sculpture Handbuilt and Handpainted by Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Hand built decorative horse sculpture - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - decorative motifs painted with a goat hair brush made by the potter to apply natu...
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

Kentucky Horse Farm Fireplace Mantel Horse Legs
Located in Santa Monica, CA
This pair of giant sculptural wooden horse legs, at 5 ft. tall, was once part of a large mantel at the home of a horse ranch in Kentucky. Said to have been Amish carved.
Category

20th Century American Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Dolomites Ancient Painted Wooden Bucket
Located in Albignasego, IT
Dolomites ancient painted wooden bucket Measures: Height 55 cm – Diameter 23 cm Hand painted old Tyrolean bucket (churn). Red background. Richly decorated on all sides; on the ...
Category

Early 20th Century Italian Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Fir

Mid Century Gerald Pat Hannah Canadian Carved Wood Figure Rose
Located in Dayton, OH
Mid century carved wood folk art figure by Gerald Pat Hannah, titled “Rose,” showing an old woman in a dark hat and coat with a purse on her arm. “One of the original three Hannah br...
Category

Mid-20th Century Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Hardwood, Paint

Pair of Trench Art Candlesticks
Located in Chicago, IL
A wonderful and thought provoking pair of early 20th century American Trench Art candlesticks made from the spent brass casings of naval artillery shells.
Category

1940s American Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass

Vintage German Christmas Tree Stand Iron Folk Art .
Located in Kitzbuhel, AT
Hugh Christmas tree stand made of iron. The stand is decorated with three large hands painted Santa Claus. The Santa Claus is decorated on both sides with a Santa in red coat holding...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Iron

4 Hand Made Wicker Nesting Baskets Fruit Bowls Native Shovel Dust Pan
Located in Dayton, OH
Set of four hand woven nesting baskets in the shape of dust pan, fruit bowl or shovel. Measures: Largest - 16” x 13” x 4.75” / Smallest - 8.75” x 7.5” x 2.75” (Length x Width x Dept...
Category

20th Century Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wicker

Swedish Folk Art, Unique Organic 19th Century Farmers Bowl, Wood
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
An antique, unique organic farmers wooden bowl. With highly appealing patina, Produced in Sweden, 19th century.   
Category

19th Century Swedish Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Monumental Dorothy Gillespie Metal Ribbon Wall Sculpture
By Dorothy Gillespie
Located in Buffalo, NY
Stunning Dorothy Gillespie metal ribbon wall sculpture, wonderful usr of color, texture and space. Photos do not do this piece of art any justice, truly beautiful in person, strong p...
Category

1980s American Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Vintage Instructional Mushroom Model
Located in Houston, TX
Vintage instructional mushroom model from an art school in France. Entire set pictured together in last three images.
Category

1940s French Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Concrete

Cute Pink Pig Porcelain Cigar Ashtray, Antique, German, 1910s
Located in Nuernberg, DE
Gorgeous vintage cigarette or cigar ashtray. A beautiful decorative item, with nice patina, probably missing something at the eye and also has a small chip at the rim (please see det...
Category

1910s German Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Antique German Black Forest Carved Violin Musical Group Table Lamp, c1880
Located in Big Flats, NY
Antique German Black Forest table lamp offers carved sculptural base with music instrument grouping to include violin, bow and book, wired for US electrical use, c1880 Measures - ...
Category

Late 19th Century German Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

1880s French Horse Tricycle
Located in High Point, NC
A horse tricycle from France, produced circa 1880. An antique children’s toy in the form of a leaping white horse with black bridle on three iron wheels. A charmingly simple mechanis...
Category

Late 19th Century French Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Finnish Polychrome Carved Wood Relief
By A. Tamme
Located in Chicago, IL
Set against a rosewood background, this carved and painted wood relief depicts a horn blower enchanting birds on a sunny summer day. Signed A. Tamme.
Category

1950s Finnish Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Polished Brass Monkey Paperweight Pen Tray Card Holder
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Vintage office desk polished brass monkey paperweight, pen tray holder or card holder, eye glass holder, catchall. Handcrafted solid brass, Metal Art, Monkey is holding the tray on ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass

Vintage Bulldog Brush Holder
Located in Antwerp, BE
Lovely handcrafted wooden Brush Holder - Gentleman's Brush Set in the shape of a English Bulldog - American Bulldog - French Bulldog - Dog Figurine with glass Eyes. On the Bottom is ...
Category

Mid-20th Century European Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Hand Made Folk Art Pottery Sculpture of a Mans Head
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A wonderful sculpture of a mans head... reminiscent of an Italian icon, the piece is unique and a wonderful stand alone decorative piece or can be used as a paper weight or bookend. ...
Category

20th Century Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Pottery

Moroccan Decorative Hen Sculpture Handbuilt and Handpainted by Potter Houda
Located in Marseille, FR
- Hand built decorative hen sculpture - made of clay collected from the potter's surroundings. - decorative motifs painted with a goat hair brush made by the potter to apply natura...
Category

2010s Moroccan Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Clay, Earthenware

19th Century Swedish Folk Art Root Wood Bowl
Located in Helsingborg, SE
Fine organic mid 19th century larger Swedish folk art root wood bowl, signed AES and dated 1846.
Category

19th Century Swedish Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Ceramic Blue and White Dutch Boch Delft Plates
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Stunning Boch Delfts blue and white plates in very good condition. Each is signed and numbered by the artist. It is beautiful hanging on a wall or on a coffee table. Dutch Delft c...
Category

Mid-20th Century Dutch Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Beaded Ndebele Ceremonial Doll
Located in Chicago, IL
A rare imported commodity, glass beads have been a symbol of wealth and importance in south African cultures for centuries, and were exclusively distributed by the region's oba (king...
Category

Late 20th Century South African Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Cotton, Wood

Carved Wooden Sculpture by Ecuadorian Artist Luis Potosi
Located in Chicago, IL
A hand carved wooden sculpture by Ecuadorian artist Luis Potosi (1937 -). Artist plaque on the back.      
Category

Mid-20th Century Ecuadorean Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Nantucket Large Oval Basket by Mitchy Ray, circa 1920s
Located in Nantucket, MA
Late 19th century nantucket basket, by Mitchy Ray (1877 - 1956), circa 1920s, a large open oval basket with heavy rattan staves, cane weave, solid oak bottom plate and carved swing h...
Category

1920s American Vintage Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Cane

19th Century Italian Wirework Basket
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Wonderful and very rare wirework basket with a great form. Iron and zinc, Italy, circa 1850-1900 Weathered.
Category

19th Century Italian Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Iron, Zinc

Carved American Carnival Head, circa 1890s
Located in Santa Monica, CA
Finely featured carved man's head found in the southern United States. Most likely a late 19th century carnival head featured in a ball or ring toss game.
Category

19th Century American Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Ceramic Sculpture with a Group of Playing Putti's 19th Century Belgium
Located in Antwerp, BE
Beautiful in detail and charming 19th century unglazed terracotta sculpture. Features a design of three cherubic children with lamps and fruit, playing with two goats on the base of ...
Category

1890s Belgian Antique Folk Art Decorative Objects

Materials

Terracotta

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