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A late 19th/early 20th century hollow-cast chalkware (plaster) cat. Most likely originating from Pennsylvania, USA. Similar chalkware cats and other animals, formed part of the inexpensively produced decorative ornaments made by the Pennsylvanian German community from the 1850s onwards. This is one of the largest examples, at 15 1/2 inches high. These large, hollow versions are extremely rare due to their fragility. Many of the examples that have survived, have more often than not had to be repaired or patched up. This example is totally original with no restoration, and 'rings' when tapped. One of the tips to the cat's ears has been chipped at some point in the past, but is a very old break. Naively decorated with concentric rings and spots of colour. Period teal blue, terracotta red, and mustard yellow paint, which is now faded and worn. The rest of the body has acquired a natural 'smokey' patina from years of dust, dirt and handling. A rare opportunity to acquire a genuine example of antique folk art. Similar pieces can be found in many museums, including the American Folk Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the US.