The Arkansas Traveler: Important New Information about the Stoneware Log Cabin Scene in our 10/29/2011 Auction

The Arkansas Traveler (Currier & Ives version), upon which Lot 23 (stoneware log cabin scene) in our October 29, 2011 was based.
We just wanted to share some important new information about Lot 23 in Saturday’s auction, the stoneware log cabin scene attributed to Anna Pottery. An expert on this subject emailed us yesterday to draw our attention to “The Arkansas Traveler,” an important painting and song uponwhich Lot 23 was based.

“The Arkansas Traveler” was painted by Arkansas artist Edward Payson Washbourne, who completed it circa 1856. It was rendered from a popular fiddle song written by Colonel Sandford C. Faulkner, probably based on an actual conversation he had with a country settler in 1840–and it plays off of an encounter between the sophisticated “Traveler” and the country “Squatter.” Popular prints were created from Washbourne’s original, including a version by Currier & Ives in 1870. The man on horseback, whom we had speculated may be a Union soldier, is Colonel Faulkner, who served in the Confederate army, including in command of the Little Rock Arsenal.

The stoneware version of The Arkansas Traveler, probably by the Kirkpatrick Brothers of Anna Pottery in Anna, Illinois.
“The Arkansas Traveler” became a ubiquitous pop culture image, particularly in reference to the State of Arkansas, where it became the state song from 1949 to 1963; it is now the state historical song. The song has been used in numerous cartoons and an Academy Award-winning Laurel & Hardy film. The Arkansas Travelers play Double-A baseball in Little Rock.

A version of Washbourne’s painting appeared at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and the kind person who emailed us speculates that the stoneware version may have been made around that time, and based on Currier & Ives’ print.

To read more about “The Arkansas Traveler,” you can visit

The listing for the stoneware version our 10/29 auction is available here:

It is remarkable to view what is probably the Kirkpatrick Brothers’ stoneware take on this folk story, and we thought you might be interested to know where this image came from.

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