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Case Auctions
Live Auction

2024 Winter Fine Art, Antiques & Jewelry (Day 1)

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 09:00AM EST
Lot 121

5 John Henry Toney Alabama Outsider Art Drawings

Estimate: $400 - $450

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Five (5) pen and marker drawings on cardstock by self-taught African American folk artist John Henry Toney (Alabama, 1928-2019). Including: one (1) depicting a brown man titled en verso "He drinks liquor & don't care for nothing", one (1) depicting a blue punk rock figure set against a metallic dotted background titled en verso "She's a deformed gal, She thinks she might be deformed and pregnant", one (1) depicting a cowboy wearing a striped suit with a horn in his mouth titled en verso "He's blowing a horn", one depicting a female wearing a food service hat titled "She works in a restaurant", and one (1) depicting a man wearing a cowboy outfit titled "He's a surveyor". All works signed in the upper margins "Mr. John H Toney" together witht the artist's age and most signatures followed by "31 C D Seale Ala 8552479". All works titled on labels en verso. Ranging in size from 10 3/4" H x 13" W to 15 1/4" H x 11" W. Biography (from the Encyclopedia of Alabama): "Russell County, Alabama native John Henry Toney was a self-taught folk artist who began painting late in life. He worked in farming and briefly in a cotton mill but claimed that he was fired for drawing an unflattering portrait of his boss. In 1994 he was plowing a field for the Anthony family and unearthed a turnip on which he discerned a "face." He took it home, made a colored-pencil drawing of it, and then brought the drawing to Butch Anthony, who put the drawing up for sale in an antique store in nearby Pittsview. Renowned Alabama chef Scott Peacock purchased the painting, so Toney painted more, choosing subjects that ranged from everyday life to the fantastical. Created with paint pens or markers on posterboard and cardboard, Toney's drawings featured animals, exaggerated female forms in fanciful clothing, vehicles, and other subjects. He also often included personal information in the works, such as his birthdate and phone number. The inspirational turnip is now among the exhibits at Anthony's Museum of Wonder in Seale, Alabama. Toney's work also became a prominent part of the "Doo-Nanny," a folk-art and cultural festival that Anthony held on his family's property from 1996 until 2015 to showcase his own art and that of his friends.


All in overall good condition with some minor scattered errant marks and marker smudges.

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Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
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4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
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Private Southern collection.