Miniature Horse Head

Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is treating you well so far. Back at work and all that. So you may have noticed that my epic quest to write exhaustively about my vintage Christmas was a little thin in execution. I am still pretty happy with what I managed to write, but perhaps the lesson for next time is not to commit to blogging at the busiest time of the year. Or maybe the lesson is learn how to write faster and with greater discipline. If the lesson is to watch all 8 Harry Potter films and eat gingerbread cookies for a week then I’m pretty solid.

Anyway, this Christmas I was very blessed in the gift department. I received many nerdy toys like Nintendo Wii games and this crazy future alarm clock that promises to make waking up a glowing and bird call filled experience. I also received a few pieces of really amazing vintage folk art. My parents are folk art dealers so it’s not unusual to benefit from their knowledge and collections. Sill, I was really touched by their generosity. One piece I received was a miniature horse head by noted Ontario artist Albert Hoto:

This amazingly detailed horse head is from the Hoto family collection, and dated from about 1960. I just love the character and grace Hoto was able to achieve in such a small piece of carved and painted wood. Albert Hoto lived and worked on a farm, so I would like to think this tiny plaque is a testament to a particularly helpful and prized farm horse.

It may be difficult to tell from the photographs, but the piece is only about 5″ tall. Check it out next to a standard mechanical pencil:

Pretty great, right? Hoto started his creative work after retiring from farm life because he was bored and wanted something to pass the time. In his retirement years he created many wonderful small carvings that earned him prizes and praise from collectors. You can read more about Albert Hoto on my dad’s blog Shadfly Guy. His recent posts about Hoto include a short biography, the transcript of a 1953 newspaper article about Hoto, and a newspaper photograph of his work. Albert Hoto was a truly talented folk artist and I am so happy to have one of his pieces in our collection.

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