Z and K Antiques

Silvio P. Zoratti Folk Art Bird Tree

Circa 1962: Silvio Peter Zoratti (1896-1992) was an Italian immigrant who came to America after being released from a WWI German prisoner of war camp. He had been trained as a stone carver in Europe and settled in Ohio, where, in 1923, he took a stonemason position on the Nickel Plate Railroad and worked there until his retirement in 1961. Zoratti did a few folk art stone sculptures for himself starting in 1958, and he began working in wood after his retirement and would continue carving until the 1980s when he stopped because of failing eyesight. Zoratti completed around 300 sculptures and had them displayed outside in his garden and around his tool shed. Because the carvings were kept outside and survived the harsh northeastern Ohio winters along Lake Erie, they are often more weathered on the side that faced the oncoming winds. Signed "Silvio P Zoratti 1962," this nearly 26" tall bird tree in original paint is made out of one piece of solid oak and features ten birds. This magnificent bird tree once functioned as a lamp and was most probably used to help light the tool shed where Zoratti worked. Note that one of the birds has a make do nail repair that Zoratti himself made when he made an errant stroke of the hammer against the chisel and accidentally cracked a bird. This obviously happened in the making because the nailhead is painted over in two colors of original paint. A repair would have meant nothing to Mr. Zoratti because he fashioned his sculptures for his own pleasure and never sold them. We can only imagine Zoratti's proud smile had he known that some of his carvings would one day be included in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum.

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

silvio zoratti folk art wooden bird tree in original paint decoration

Silvio P. Zoratti Folk Art Bird Tree

For Sale: $1,350

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Bob Zordani and Heidi Kellner: (217) 714-5016, Lexington, Virginia: zandk@zandkantiques.com

Z and K Antiques For Sale