Frank Gallagher, carrying on his ancestor’s work of making of Cigar Store Indians, is a highly skilled artisan due to his own ability and efforts. The Gallaghers carry on the art of carving by hand as their ancestors would like it. The extensive variety of Cigar Store Indians which can be sculpted is completely amazing. Traditional Cigar Store Indians exist in numerous varieties: Indian maidens, princesses and braves, sometimes with papooses. The majority of these demonstrated some variety of tobacco on their clothing or in their hands. The Cigar Store Indians made in America were clothed in bordered buckskins, wrapped with blankets, embellished with feathered crowns and occasionally shown holding bows or tomahawks, spears and arrows. Unfortunately, these standard Cigar Store Indians facial attributes hardly bore a resemblance members of any specific American Indian tribe. Nevertheless, not all the Cigar Store Indians made crafted were created by non-Native Americans. A prominent Native American carver was Samuel Gallagher.
Wood sculpture or wood carving is one of the ancient and most prevalent forms of natural art. Owing to easy availability of wood, the comparative simplicity of the essential technology and the strength of wood, wood carving is being practiced in nearly all cultures from the initial times. More or less jointly with woodcarving has expanded the agricultural revolution.
The majority of the initial Cigar Store Indians were sculpted in Midwestern cities or Eastern seaboard by artists most likely never met a Native American. As time elapsed the American business spirit got used to as the Cigar Store Indians did with it. A few pioneering tobacco sellers searched for unconventional pictures for their trade signs in order to stand out from more recognized sellers. All of a sudden, a new market developed: Cigar Store Indian sculptors competed amid themselves for the different tobacconists’ trade, trying to gain advantage over one another in uniqueness, depth and versatility.
Cigar Store Indian artists like John Cromwell, Samuel Robb and Thomas Brooks managed full time studios. Most of these woodworkers hired a full time employees of painters and carvers to meet the great production needs for their Cigar Store Indian merchandise.
Cigar Store Indians were created to catch the attention of the persons walking by, notifying them that tobacco was traded inside. It is thought that the regular cigar smoker in the US in the late 1800s couldn’t decipher the words “Tobacconist Shop.” Moreover, the Cigar Store Indians was mandatory for business. As the U.S. was rapidly developing into a social environment of persons with different origins, the typical 19th century American resident did not have a shared common language. Therefore the pavement cigar store Indian was important for business. Pictorial trade signs were basically replacements for written signposts that may have been beyond understanding to potential consumers, several of them immigrants. Therefore the Cigar Store Indian, mainly because of necessity but also because of it specific style and opulence, is still eminent today.
In the late 20th century today the best wooden Cigar Store Indians are sold in cigar shops and discount cigars online stores. They are also sold in cigar auction and they sell for up to $100000.