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Philadelphia Wireman Sold at Auction Prices

The Philadelphia Wireman is the working name given to an unknown outsider artist responsible for approximately 1,200 small-scale wire-frame sculptures that were found by a passerby, abandoned on a street outside a transient home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1982.[1] The artist is assumed to have access to tools required to bend some of the heavy-gauge wire in the sculptures; it is hypothesised that the sculptures were abandoned after their creator's death. Nothing is known about the artist's motives. Many of the pieces resemble African art, and this plus the demographics of the neighborhood where the art collection was found cause some reviewers to speculate that the artist was African-American. [2][3]

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    • Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled
      Dec. 15, 2021

      Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman Untitled wire, found objects 6 h × 3 w × 2 d in (15 × 8 × 5 cm) This work will ship from Rago in Lambertville, New Jersey. condition: With stand: 7 h × 3 w × 2 d in (18 × 8 × 5 cm). Minor dirt to surface. Work is in good overall condition and present as artist intended.

      Rago Arts and Auction Center
    • Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled
      Dec. 15, 2021

      Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman Untitled wire, found objects 6 h × 3 w × 3 d in (15 × 8 × 8 cm) This work will ship from Rago in Lambertville, New Jersey. Condition of the item is not included in this description. Condition reports are available from Rago upon request. Rago strongly recommends that you review a condition report for each item on which you plan to bid. Email [email protected] to request a condition report.

      Rago Arts and Auction Center
    • Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled
      Dec. 15, 2021

      Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman Untitled wire, found objects 5 h × 4 w × 2 d in (13 × 10 × 5 cm) This work will ship from Rago in Lambertville, New Jersey. Condition of the item is not included in this description. Condition reports are available from Rago upon request. Rago strongly recommends that you review a condition report for each item on which you plan to bid. Email [email protected] to request a condition report.

      Rago Arts and Auction Center
    • Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled
      Dec. 15, 2021

      Philadelphia Wireman, Untitled

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman Untitled wire, found objects 4.5 h × 2 w × 2 d in (11 × 5 × 5 cm) This work will ship from Rago in Lambertville, New Jersey. Condition of the item is not included in this description. Condition reports are available from Rago upon request. Rago strongly recommends that you review a condition report for each item on which you plan to bid. Email [email protected] to request a condition report.

      Rago Arts and Auction Center
    • Philadelphia Wireman 20th Century Untitled
      Nov. 02, 2021

      Philadelphia Wireman 20th Century Untitled

      Est: $800 - $1,200

      Philadelphia Wireman 20th Century Untitled Metal and plastic found objects Height with base 4 3/4 inches C Property from the Estate of Jacqueline Loewe Fowler

      Doyle New York
    • The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, nails, and papi
      Jan. 14, 2021

      The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, nails, and papi

      Est: $800 - $1,200

      The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, nails, and papier mache 5-1/2 x 3 x 1-3/4 inches (14.0 x 7.6 x 4.4 cm) HID01801242017

      Heritage Auctions
    • The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, screws, bolts,
      Jan. 14, 2021

      The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, screws, bolts,

      Est: $800 - $1,200

      The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, screws, bolts, nails, and plaster 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 x 2 inches (11.4 x 6.4 x 5.1 cm) HID01801242017

      Heritage Auctions
    • The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, nails, and papi
      Jan. 14, 2021

      The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, nails, and papi

      Est: $800 - $1,200

      The Philadelphia Wireman (American, 20th century) Untitled Wire, nails, and papier mache 7 x 3-1/2 x 2-1/4 inches (17.8 x 8.9 x 5.7 cm) HID01801242017

      Heritage Auctions
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#620)
      May. 05, 2019

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#620)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#620), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 4.25'' x 3'' x 1.75'' (11 x 8 x 4 cm); 6.25" (16 cm) with stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#588)
      May. 05, 2019

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#588)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#588), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 5.5'' x 1.25'' x 2'' (14 x 3 x 5 cm); 6.75" (17 cm) height with display stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#130)
      Oct. 15, 2017

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#130)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#130), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 3.75'' x 2'' x 1.5'' (10 x 5 x 4 cm); 4.5" (11 cm) height with display stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#588)
      Oct. 15, 2017

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#588)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#588), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 5.5'' x 1.25'' x 2'' (14 x 3 x 5 cm); 6.75" (17 cm) height with display stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#127)
      Oct. 15, 2017

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#127)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#127), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 3.75'' x 2.5'' x 1.75'' (10 x 6 x 4 cm); 4.5" (11 cm) height with display stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#893)
      Oct. 15, 2017

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#893)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#893), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 4.5'' x 3.25'' x 1.5'' (11 x 8 x 4 cm); 4.75" (12 cm) height with display stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#574)
      Oct. 15, 2017

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#574)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#574), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 1.75'' x 1.75'' x 1.75'' (4 x 4 x 4 cm); 3" (8 cm) height with display stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#592)
      Oct. 15, 2017

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#592)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Philadelphia Wireman (20th c.) Sculpture (#592), c. 1970's, wire with found objects. Size: 3.5'' x 1'' x 1'' (9 x 3 x 3 cm); 4.25" (11 cm) height with display stand. Provenance: Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Private Collection.

      Material Culture
    • Philadelphia Wireman,Am.,Wire found object
      Apr. 20, 2016

      Philadelphia Wireman,Am.,Wire found object

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      Phildelphia Wireman, c.1970- 1975, Outsider Art, Wire, found objects, stand later. Biography:The Philadelphia Wireman sculptures were found abandoned in an alley off Philadelphia’s South Street on trash night in the late 1970s. Their discovery in a rapidly-changing neighborhood undergoing extensive renovation, compounded with the failure of all attempts to locate the artist, suggests that the works may have been discarded after the maker’s death. The entire collection totals approximately 1200 pieces (and a few small, abstract marker drawings, reminiscent both of Mark Tobey and J.B. Murry) and appears to be the creation of one male artist, due to the strength involved in manipulating often quite heavy-gauge wire into such tightly-wound nuggets. The dense construction of the work, despite a modest range of scale and materials, is singularly obsessive and disciplined in design: a wire armature or exoskeleton firmly binds a bricolage of found objects, including plastic, glass, food packaging, umbrella parts, tape, rubber, batteries, pens, leather, reflectors, nuts and bolts, nails, foil, coins, toys, watches, eyeglasses, tools, and jewelry. Heavy with associations — anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and socio-cultural — to wrapped detritus, the totemic sculptures by Philadelphia Wireman have been discussed in the context of work created to fulfill the shamanistic needs of alternative religions in American culture. Curators, collectors, and critics have variously compared certain pieces to Classical antiquity sculptures, Native American medicine bundles, African-American memory jugs, and African fetish objects. Reflecting the artist’s prolific and incredibly focused scavenging impulse, and despite — or perhaps enhanced by — their anonymity, these enigmatic objects function as urban artifacts and arbiters of power, though their origin and purpose is unknown. Philadelphia Wireman, whatever his identity, possessed an astonishing ability to isolate and communicate the concepts of power and energy through the selection and transformation of ordinary materials. Over the course of the past two decades, this collection has come to be regarded as an important discovery in the field of self-taught and vernacular art.(KSIM10134)(MM) Measurements: 3 1/2 x 8 x 31/2, on stand 8"H Condition: Good Property Title: From a Cornwall Bridge Connecticut Estate

      Litchfield Auctions
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