The background and origin of the Woodbridge figures has confounded local historians and fueled urban legends since their discovery in the 1980s. The carvings were uncovered on the site of what is now the Woodbridge Center Mall in Woodbridge, New Jersey where once lay a series of clay pits and caves mined by the brick industry. During the demolition of a shack on the grounds workmen found over 100 small wooden figures resembling African idols. The figures, which range in size from 3” to 9”, are armless, nude and anatomically correct, with individually carved faces and varying body shapes balanced on two proportional feet. Some possess holes in their heads plugged by corks. Since their discovery they have traveled from the clay pits to Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York City, to the homes of private collectors, to U.S. and international museums. The pair for sale as Lot One was only recently rediscovered in a home near Woodbridge.
--Courtesy of Rago Auctions