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That he may share Our Christmas cheer Dressed in his festive attire, the jockey has a unique and profound symbolic double meaning at Christmastime. As a statue holding a lantern, he can be seen as holding the "guiding light" like the north star for kings coming to Bethlehem Washington crossing the Delaware. One can imagine that little Jocko would have been proud that the legacy of his heroic death on banks of the Delaware river that frozen Christmas night and subsequent immortality as a statue would lead directly to spreading Christmas joy to future generations of children.

The earliest version of the Lawn Jockey, the original "Faithful Groomsman" would have probably looked like the replica above. Also, notice the many "jocko" features in the famous Gilbert Stuart full-length "Lansdowne" portrait of Washington. Mount Vernon also had a blacksmith shop on site that could have forged the statue. This is how Mount Vernon, which faces the Potomac river, might have looked with a jockey statue on the side facing the river. The logic would be that a statue holding a lantern overlooking the Potomac River would appear just like Jocko holding the lantern across the Delaware river during the Battle of Trenton.

A Civil War "Statue of Liberty" for oppressed slaves Without this sign, fugitive slaves hid elsewhere until the coast was clear, or moved on to the next safe house.

One of the source documents regarding this legend was published in the Springfield Ohio News-Sun of November 20, about the UGRR station at the Piatt residence and depicts the caricature version of Jocko holding a flag to signal "welcome". Included in the historical compilation were several jockeys, including the one above from the Dearborn, Michigan Edison Institute now Greenfield Village dating to See the left column of this page for more jockey drawings from the Index of American Design project.

Up until around , there was probably only 1 version of the Lawn Jockey, the "Faithful Groomsman". However, after , 2 new versions emerged. Coming online at the start of the American industrial revolution, these new statues would have been the first to be mass-produced. Excerpt from Saturday Reader, August 25, mentioning Jock the groom at the gate of a southern plantation.

The first new version was the "Picaninny Caricature" version of Faithful Groomsman, complete with bulging eyes, wide mouth, and big red lips. After the second "Jocko" groomsman came the "Lawn Jockey" version of the statue, which was based on the Faithful Groomsman caricature, originally depicted in black-face, but as an adult and configured as a "horse racing jockey".

The "Lawn Jockey" sculpture was copyrighted in and patented in Both "Faithful Groomsman" versions were never copyrighted or patented, adding to the mystery of their origins. The "Picaninny Caricature" version of Faithful Groomsman, although physically distorted, actually gives the best linear connection to the Legend of Jocko Graves. Speculation is that an unknown sculptor made the picaninny reproduction of the Faithful Groomsman from a verbal or written description only, but without actually seeing the original statue itself.

Next note the fancy vest and tie clothes addition, as if he was perhaps told Jocko was also a "wedding groom". The unique hand-in-pocket addition is very important in that it clearly illustrates that the sculptor was told that Jocko was out in the cold and "froze to death" as in the legend. The Caricature version was cast in 2 parts, the hat and the body. The "jockey style" cap was by far the most popular on hollow replicas cast after there were several period hats used on the original solid hitching posts.

The final version of the statue, the Lawn Jockey, is the horse racing jockey statue that most people are familiar with Older terms used to describe this version of the statue include "jockey lawn ornament", "jockey boy", "jockey statue", and "jockey hitching post". Original Jocks combine both the history of the statue but deleting the distinctive African-American features along with adding unique new design elements based on ancient Greek "contrapposto", making this version a timeless classic.

The Original Lawn Jock is a perfectly blended collection of artistically designed round and angular shapes. Note that following Greek tradition, the statue is not anatomically correct for example- the left arm is shorter than the right arm. The human form is balanced and relaxed- the Original Lawn Jock was designed as a real metal art sculpture for your yard! Adding the pedestal is the most important feature in all Lawn Jockey statues because it describes the character as being memorialized in a position of high regard or adoration, on a pedestal, like a war hero All were originally black-face, but since they were all outside and their iron skin eventually corroded, all we have to go by in determining their original clothes colors are paintings of the era, statuettes and miniature salesmans samples.

From to about , the red-yellow-white configuration depicting Jocko as a "house negro" was probably his original color scheme. After , more caricature versions adopted a red-white-blue theme see Sambo book details above. The end of the Lawn Jockey era? How ironic is it that years after this Lawn Jockey obituary was written, now it is the great American automobile industry that is on its deathbed One final important concept gleened from the story of George Washington and the history of Jockey statues is that the statues: If two are nearby, usually either a different statue style or paint scheme is used.

A single "faith"-ful groomsman statue symbolizes in religious and patriotic terms the faith in the individual Jocko Graves himself may have never seen freedom, but his "painted eyes" have witnessed the history and progress of America as his torch has passed from generation to generation.

In the end, the validity of the Jocko Graves story and Underground Railroad legend may be secondary in importance to the historical significance and cultural influence of the Lawn Jockey statue itself.

Only high quality real forged metal Jocks from the original balanced greek-inspired classical design, on pedestals, are timeless works of art. The paint is glossy and shiny. Art and history are reflected accurately and positively.

Low quality cheap concrete and plastic-molded replicas are unbalanced, and have no art value. The paint is faded, dull and flakes off. Art and history are poorly presented.


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