Collecting Two by Two: Animals & Arks

Carved Noah's Ark painted blue with dove on roof with approximately 200 animals and figures.Just about any day now the fall rains are going to start.  Of course, it’s only going to seem like it’s rained forty days and forty nights, but when I’m lying awake at night wondering how much more water the septic system can withstand, I can think about Noah and his orderly pairs of animals.  Which usually makes my thoughts wonder off, because have you ever noticed that all the depictions include exotic animals and farmyard critters, but no cats?  That’s because Noah was probably unable to get the cooperation of cats, if any of his cats were like mine….

Anyway, arks are actually highly collectible, probably because they have crossover appeal, since they find favor among collectors of folk art, toys, and miniatures.  This helps support prices, and it doesn’t hurt that there are so many to choose from.  There are store-bought versions on a relatively small scale, like this one, and then there are early German-manufactured examples, like this one that has compartments for all the animals and measures nearly 3′ high!  In terms of sale prices, though, it’s all about folky craftsmanship and numbers – the one pictured above, complete with approximately 200 animal and human figures, sold for more than $28,000!