A.J. King

(1881 - 1963) North Scituate, Rhode Island

Born in North Scituate, Rhode Island on March 26, 1881 Allen J. King never received an education, but he developed a natural talent for art in a variety of mediums. Similar to many carvers in the 1900’s A.J. King was a jack of all trades. He worked at a variety of professions such as mill-work, farming, and tanning. He pursued drawing, painting, and playing the violin during his lifetime. By vocation he was a hunter, fisherman, and naturalist. He could identify an extravagant amount of plant and wildlife that belonged to Northern Rhode Island. In the 1930’s King took up a job as a taxidermist in Providence, Rhode Island, which helped to familiarize him with the anatomy of a variety of animals. At this point King took up bird carving when he was well into his late fifties. King’s miniatures are noted for their high level of detail, and the fact that his miniatures were one half to two thirds the size of other carver’s miniatures of the time. From the onset King offered a fair variety of ducks, and other wildfowl, but as his prowess grew King began to produce his birds in larger staged groupings. The majority of King’s exposure for his carvings came from the Crossroads Sports catalog in which he sold his birds. By 1954, King’s notoriety was so great that he was two year’s behind in his bird carving orders.