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Cigar Box Folk Art Houses by Charles Cole of Racine Wisconsin collection Jim Linderman

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Wooden Folk Art Objects458 of 680Folk Art Dead Man  Carved whimsy  Man in a Box collection Jim LindermanA Leggy Wooden Pin Up Folk Art Carving collection Jim Linderman
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Posted 5 years ago

(203 items)

Miniature houses by Charles Cole of Racine, Wisconsin. Mr. Cole created an entire city, in magnificent detail, from cigar boxes he collected from Rehl's Book Store in Racine, and that was the city he recreated in meticulous, remarkable detail. Actually, Mr. Cole created an idealized city, bringing in prominent buildings from Madison, Chicago and elsewhere, but he placed them in his perfect world.

There were 75 buildings, of which four are shown here. As far as I know, one is the only unfinished piece (unpainted, anyway) which shows some of the detail work before he painted them. Precision cut with laser skill, though the laser was still fifty years in the future. As you can see in one piece here, (with bolts and nuts shown for size) many of the houses were wired for light. Which is probably why the unpainted house has 72 windows!

Here is the kicker. Cole made each house IN TRIPLICATE! One for each of his three children.

Mr. Cole's work, or at least one set, was apparently purchased as a lot and is now being dispersed on your favorite online auction site. A shame, it could not be kept together, but then Charles may have been tickled to know how far his little creations have been spread.

Some of the most remarkable buildings I know which were made of cigar boxes, and I aim to keep them together.

Four miniature houses, circa 1935, by Charles M. Cole collection Jim Linderman DULL TOOL DIM BULB the blog.


  1. walksoftly walksoftly, 5 years ago
    I love hand crafted items like these, brings back memories of my Grandfather.

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