Four shadowboxes featuring peach stones carved in the form of calipers, buckles, baskets, and chairs, with framed Gimbi advert, Pennsylvania, ca. 1900.
Largest: 11" x 9"
Albert William Gimbi, born 1857, a barber from McAdoo, Pennsylvania, left an obscure legacy of hundreds of miniature objects meticulously carved from peach stones. As perfect as they are work-a-day, the tiny examples of shoes, brushes, letters, numbers, sewing tools, books, baskets, fishing hooks and scores of other utilitarian items have an approximate height of 1” and are half as wide. Several, such as needles and pins or locks and keys are a fraction of that size. The absence of an obvious grain in peach stones allows for the exceptional detail shown in Gimbi’s work. His collection of the penknives he used, each altered to a specific angle and sharpness, gives us an idea of the range of his expert skill, while photographs of him sporting a Dali-like moustache and underlined with the flourishing description “Prof. Al Gimbi, Pennsylvania Peach Stone Carver” offers an insight into the barber, the artist and the man. --Courtesy of Rago Auctions