Andrew Clemens Sand Art, ca. 1880 | Vintage Hot Springs | Preview

Andrew Clemens Sand Art, ca. 1880 | Vintage Hot Springs | Preview


GUEST: Well, it’s a… we’re
not really sure what to call
it, but it’s colored sand in a jar. And it was presented to my
great-grandfather around
the end of the Civil War. He was a sergeant in the Union
army, I believe from New York,
and they moved to Hot Springs after the Civil War
and settled here. And this was a gift from
two of his friends, and it’s
been in my family ever since. APPRAISER: And what
do you do with it now? GUEST: We look at it, it sits on
the bookshelf, and we enjoy it. APPRAISER: Do you keep
it in a safe place? GUEST: No, we keep it high
enough where my four-year-old
granddaughter can’t reach it. APPRAISER: Yeah, please do. Well, let’s start with,
you know, what it is. It is… it’s sand in a jar. But what sand in a jar. It’s an incredible
piece of sand art. Let’s start with who your
great-grandfather was. He didn’t come from New
York, he came from Illinois. GUEST: Close enough. APPRAISER: And he spent most of
his Civil War career in the Hot
Springs, Arkansas, vicinity. The real interesting thing about
this remarkable piece of sand
art, though, is just what you see here. Not only is his name on it,
but on the back you see this
wonderful eagle with the 36-star flag. You spin it around, you see
his name is written in script,
there’s a mortar and pestle. All of this is done with
individual grains of sand. And when you flip it up, the
label on the bottom says,
“Pictured rock and sand by A. Clemens, deaf-mute”
from McGregor, Iowa. While you were sitting back in
the green room, on a whim, while
I was finding out about your grandfather, I went to the
internet and just typed
in “McGregor, Iowa, sand.” And bingo, we got a hit. GUEST: Really? APPRAISER: On A. Clemens,
the guy who made this. When he was five years
old, he had what his family
called “brain fever.” And he went to the deaf-mute
school in Iowa, and would come
home in the summers, and he started going to this
spot on the Mississippi
River in McGregor, Iowa,
and collecting sand, and sort of experimenting
with making these bottles. He used a big fishhook, a
great big oversized fishhook,
and, like, a popsicle stick. And he would take the
sand that he’d collect
along the Mississippi
River, and then he would pack it in this bottle, and
manipulate it with the fishhook. He gained national fame for
making these, and today,
there’s an exhibit on this guy at the Iowa State museum. GUEST: Is that right? APPRAISER: It is a
remarkable piece of folk art. On today’s market, I would guess
that it’s between $4,000 and
$6,000 is what we’d estimate. GUEST: Really? APPRAISER: It might bring
more than that in the right
auction– great piece. GUEST: That’s great.

9 thoughts on “Andrew Clemens Sand Art, ca. 1880 | Vintage Hot Springs | Preview

  1. This is amazing! The work and patience it took to create this, manipulating each individual grain of sand into the finished artwork. Incredible.

  2. Love The Roadshow…we get to meet really nice people…..see their treasures…..learn behind the scenes bits…..AND we even get to learn a bit of history on these treasures!!! Love how PBS gives me my Bang for My Buck…and in this day and age that's quite a good appraisal. Cheers Everyone!

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