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  #1  
Old 10-18-2006, 02:55 AM
Sunny Sunny is offline
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Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

I am researching the artist and background on a sculpture we have owned for sometime. It is a solid bronze panther, tail down, aproximately 7 inches in height and nearly 16 inches in length. Ther panther has a posture with ears back and mouth open. A copy write mark, or c within a circle is set on the back right side under the rear paw, facing outward on the bronze shelf. The piece has been lined and I do not want to remove the lining, but can feel an imperfect round area, shallow, but not flush with the rest of the base. The detail is stunning, with great care taken to muscularity, pupils, base detail to mimick a rock shelf, and paws.


At one time I was told this was a Tiffany piece, but can not find any information on the artist or age. I do know I was told it was made pre WWI - possible around the 1920's. I would like to have some idea before going into an antique store, as my intention is to sell the item.

Any ideas or help is appreciated. our email is kmckellar55@yahoo.com.
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2006, 08:12 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

I’d suspect that Antoine Louis Barye might be the sculptor. He was by far the best-known of animal sculptors during the classical age of realism. Here’s an example with the tail down, but the animal is resting:

http://www.hickmet.com/articles/z2085.htm

Using Google, I’ve found many copies of a different panther sculpture of his, which could be said to be in a stalking pose, but the relative size doesn’t match what you give. Possibly the base may be responsible for the difference.

I’d be a little surprised, though, if your work, with no artist signature visible, is by Barye. His name would add greatly to the value. Does your work at all resemble this piece?

To save time, here's: http://bronzeart.com/hb144.html
an image of the other piece I described. Possibly not a stalking pose, but the tail also is down. There seem to be many copies of this one, so unless it could be proved an original, it would be much less valuable.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2006, 07:50 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

If Barye turns out not to be the sculptor, you might want to try Anna Hyatt Huntington, an early 20th century sculptor who did excellent animals and figures. The panther described reminds me of one that she did, I don't have a reference for it at the moment.

GlennT
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2006, 01:33 AM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Yes but, the thing to do first is find out what YEAR the (C) symbol was first used, I don't think it has been used for this purpose all that long- Ivenever seen it on an antique before, I HAVE seen it on pieces made in the 50's or thereabouts.
Barye, Mene and all the others have been reproduced to heck by hundreds of people, there's so many knockoffs both old and new even the experts have a hard time telling.
Genuine Mene/Barye etc bronze animals sell for around $8,000.00 from what I've seen for prices, so if someone is selling one for $350 or $750 it's an old fake or they are clueless.

That bronzeart site shows one can buy HUGE pieces cheap made by "Barye" "mene" etc, the one they have is 2 feet long;
NO. HB 144 - PANTHER by Barye
Size: 14" H x 24" L - $395.00

PS, the last thing I would believe is what someone "tells you" who is looking to sell you something. For example- everyone on Ebay ALWAYS thinks their piece is "rare" "unique" "one of a kind" and advertises as such.

I recently bought a sculpture that was touted as being from some well known theater in NY (I knew the story was pure BS before I even bid) the seller claimed the guy he was selling it for "told me it was from the famous XXXXX theater in NYC"

I had proof it was not and I told the seller I knew it wasn't from any theater.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2006, 09:20 AM
Robert Mileha. Robert Mileha. is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Sunny, lots of good advice above. What caught my eye was your line; The detail is stunning. This suggests good news so take it to a well known big auction house, not an antique shop and get it looked at by someone trustworthy. I am not good on marks but I suspect the C is a foundry mark, (one I used, marked my work with an L), if that is crisp and the detail you to describe is also crisp then you might be pleased.

I do not want to put your hopes up too much though, copies have been made of so many small bronzes of any merit since the early 19 c. Most valuable originals are listed and have certain dimensions which were recorded. Copies are usually smaller and lack the crispness I mentioned.

A huge number of bronzes were imported into the USA as original works of Art. That is why the limited edition concept was introduced. Also French animalier’s works were copied in their thousands in Russia and else where. The big cats were and are a very popular subject for artists because they sell well. Your work might be a Rembrandt Bugatti, it sounds quite grand.

There is a good book about foundries which I can recommend if you wish to email me.

You may decide to keep it when you know more!
Good luck
Robert
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2006, 09:47 PM
Sunny Sunny is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Thank you all for your input and well received advice. I am posting photographs to the thread tomorrow. I continue to be lost on the origin. I did tote the piece to an auction house in Va. only to have the fellow tell me he thought it to be a Buggatti and worth five figures.

I certainly did not believe him and left with my panther. Perhaps some of you will recognize the work once photos are online. She is certainly a handsome work of art.

Sunny
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2006, 02:30 PM
Sunny Sunny is offline
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Photos Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

I appreciate any advice or direction concerning this work. Neither camera or my photography does the art justice. The files are over 1 mb and exceed the alloted space for this forum. I will try to cut and paste. If anyone is interested in seeing the piece, the attachments can be sent to your email. The cut and paste trick is not working.
Thanks
Sunny
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2006, 04:09 AM
Robert Mileha. Robert Mileha. is offline
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Re: Photos Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Sunny, thanks for the pics they came down fine. Quite big though! I can't be much more help other than to say it's a nice piece and should be looked at by an expert. I don't recognise it but that means nothing I am not an expert. Try and make the pics smaller if you can so others on this forum can see.

(In your photo editing software find in one of the menues "resize" and reduce it to about 640 pixels on the horizontal, then in "save as" reduce the quality to 80% and change the name by adding smal then try and post that up.)
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2006, 10:01 AM
Robert Mileha. Robert Mileha. is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Sunny asked me to post his pics. Here are some of them.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2006, 07:18 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

A beautiful piece, and the wear seems quite natural to me. I do hope the sculptor can become known. I'm not at all familiar with the image
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2006, 09:16 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Quote:
I did tote the piece to an auction house in Va. only to have the fellow tell me he thought it to be a Buggatti and worth five figures.
I certainly did not believe him and left with my panther.
I'm curious why you would doubt someone at an auction house, they deal with these kinds of pieces all the time. If he said it's worth 5 figures why doubt that? five figures is at least $10,000 and that seems high to me for a work that is unsigned and no one seems to recognize.

Even Barye and Mene bronzes have only gone for upwards of $8,000 that I have seen prices for at auction, and those are famous names in demand by collectors.

Bugatti would be the correct spelling of the name and there is a Bugatti bronze panther reproduction available that is 8" high 21" long, 7" deep for $2,395.00

This also means that in all likelyhood you have a reproduction, just in a different pose than the one I'm looking at, the style seems similar to me- not a lot of surface detailing, and the dealer has several Bugatti lions, panthers and other animals, the style of this standing one is beyond my doubt similar;

http://i4.ebayimg.com/04/i/04/6c/e6/e4_1_b.JPG

The (C) symbol on the back disturbs me, I do believe this has been in common use only in the last say, 50 years, I don't know when it started to be used first but it seems to me that's your key- find out what YEAR that symbol was first used by the public and that's the oldest this bronze could be, if pre 1914 which I doubt, then it would be old enough to have been produced by Bugatti- assuming its by him, if post 1914 then it's a reproduction.
Bugatti's style and comments about his particular distinctive style of sculpture and the fact that he did a lot of panthers, lions etc also appear to fit your piece and unless you find out contrary info I would go with what the auction house said.

REMBRANDT BUGATTI (1884-1914)

Bugatti's love of nature led to him spending a great deal of time at a Paris zoo where he studied the features and movement of exotic animals. His sculptures of animals such as elephants, panthers and lions became his most valuable and popular works. . Although his career was brief he produced some 300 sculptures to commercial and critical success. his works a shown in major Musuems and galleries around the world.

====

The fact that Bugatti's career was at once so prolific and so brief and that his animals are so distinctive and so celebrated, can result in his being seen as experiencing a single burst of consistent creativity. Yet, as with any major artisit, we see throughout his life, but especially in the later work, continuing exploration and development, manifesting themselves in many ways. While independent of all the avant-garde styles being practised at the period, Bugatti's sculptural researches often have affinities with them. The angular forms and impasted surfaces of his later animals may be described as expressionistic, while the armoured faceting of pieces like the Hamadryas Baboon (1910, Des Cordes, pp. 232-3) has certain associations with Cubism. At the same time he could be called Futuristic. The structure of certain of his animals is almost machine-like, and the multiple poses of groups and pairs of animals compare interestingly with the animation techniques of a Futurist such as Balla. Other pieces, such as the streamlined Lying Panther (1911, Des Cordes, pp. 244-5) anticipate the lines of advanced racing cars.

http://www.sladmore.com/bugatti1993.html

Last edited by Landseer : 11-29-2006 at 09:43 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2006, 05:47 PM
Robert Mileha. Robert Mileha. is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Lanseer has Quoted you. Not sure where from. His advice is right. But I am not sure it is a Bugatti. Certaily the Sladmore in London are the experts but they have associates in the USA too. I have a number of pictures of Bugatti works in old Sladmore catalogues and books for collectors of the European Animaliers but I did not recognise yours, but again I am not an expert and you should go along that route for insurance purposes if nothing else.

I really hope for your sake it is good news but I am suprised it has no signature. The c mark could be anything: hall mark as Lanseer suggests, signature or monogrammme perhaps, or less likely (as it is on the outside) a foundry mark. We artists do strange things when it comes to singing things. Causes alsorts of problems for the clever and good! Underneath it could be filled with plaster or simialar substance as it is very unlikely to be solid bronze (it would weigh a ton and would distort in the lost wax process). The lining you mention is felt (cloth)?

If it is that big then that will reflect in the value.
Good luck, would like to hear how you get on.
Robert
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  #13  
Old 11-30-2006, 05:49 PM
Robert Mileha. Robert Mileha. is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

PS sorry for the tyiping and spelling mistakes! Long day in London today.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2006, 06:39 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

I did quite a bit of research on the “c in a circle” yesterday, and basically found nothing, despite checking many so-called dictionaries and encyclopedias. The concept and application go back about to 1600 in Britain, but I found absolutely NOTHING on first use of this mark.
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  #15  
Old 12-01-2006, 07:19 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny
The piece has been lined and I do not want to remove the lining, but can feel an imperfect round area, shallow, but not flush with the rest of the base.
Could be due to a hole keeping the base hollow rather than solid so the piece isn't quite so heavy. Doesn't sound like something you need to reveal.
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  #16  
Old 12-01-2006, 09:25 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie
I did quite a bit of research on the “c in a circle” yesterday, and basically found nothing, despite checking many so-called dictionaries and encyclopedias. The concept and application go back about to 1600 in Britain, but I found absolutely NOTHING on first use of this mark.
I remember looking a while back, even on the US copyright web site and FAQ pages.
The concept etc may have gone back a ways in the UK, but did they use a symbol mark and was/is it the common (C) we use TODAY?
I know most everything int he 19th century had stamped all over them things like "Pat Pend" "pat applied for" "reg US pat off" and often the patent numbers and dates.

I have an 1893 church pew that has a patent stamp on the back, turned out it was for the specific method used to get the curved backs, I have a number of steam pressure gages and an antique ammeter which list patents and dates- the ammeter must have 15 of them on a plate. But I never saw a (C) on any of these things




Prior to 1978 you were REQUIRED to use that (C) mark and other identification on works that were copyrighted, if you did not and then distribute the items without it, you can't go now and copyright the work- it's now public domain and unregisterable.

A couple of things bug me still about this, it is pretty clear to me from the photo that this is a US copyright symbol, one which is distinct, yet there is no signature, foundry mark, date. The proper format for copyrights before 1978 included some variations but normally included the YEAR of registration like (C)1967
Not all works that carry the symbol were physically registered with the US copyright office, just the symbol there is usually enough to show the world "this belongs to someone do not reproduce" and unless one is willing to expend money and time on a costly lawsuit for infringement, registering and paying the fees is a waste of time, so, many of these items that SAY (C) probably were never formally registered.

These days, I think SINCE 1978 when changes were made, you no longer have to use that symbol at all, nor do you need to register your work- its automatically copyrighted once created, but to exert your legal rights in court it's easier to have a registration certificate to show.

So this lonesome (C) all by itself makes me wonder, the absense of the year and name of copyright holder could mean it was made AFTER 1978 when this was no longer required, but it could also mean someone just stuck that on there hoping for the best and never paid the fee.

The (C) symbol just seems to NEW and modern to me for this cast to be something like, say, from the 1880's. And back then the artist surely would have signed his name, they all did it seems, but a commercially made reproduction likely would have nothing on it, especially if there was any question of infringement because if there WAS a question on this work and it HAD a signature of the artist on it, the artist or their heirs/estate could sue and claim beyond any doubt infringement based on his SIGNATURE being reproduced right there on the base as proof. So that may be the explanation as to why there is no id of any kind- an unsigned, no id sculpture would be a lot harder to track down who was infringing than if it had a foundry mark stamped on it or paper label.

As an aside, there's many excellent animal bronze repros out there, both old and new, it's not difficult to make one LOOK old, and a reproduction made in the 1950's is itself already almost an antique, so it will already look old anyway, so is the item from 1950 or 1930, it would be pretty hard to tell as both would old, maybe have some damage from various owners, moves, dropped etc.

I read now that the latest rage to knockoff now is fake fossils- including expertly painted or partially "restored" with paints- fish on rocks and even entire skulls all made in China and being sold to unsuspecting people who think they are the real thing, this includes fossile skeletal remains embeded on rock like matrix made up entirely of resin and plasters and so good you can't tell they aren't real unless you are an expert and know what tiny details to look out for- Ive seen the comparison pics and warnings, so if people are willing to go to THAT much trouble to rip people off with fake $20 or $50 fossil fish, is it any stretch to imagine faked $5,000 Mene, Barye and other bronzes so good you can't tell they are fake without tearing off the marble base to check inside?

The artist in question discussed in the other posts killed himself in his 30's, and it was said he produced some 300 models, but what is not clear is did they mean 300 different DESIGNS, or 300 different CASTS, or both?
If all there were was 300 then that would make any originals of his extremely rare and unlikely to be found by the average Joe at a garage sale- most would be in the hands of museums and art collections, not sitting on Aunt Jane's coffee table or cousin Joe's floor as a doorstop.

This is more or less the same with Mene and Barye, they cast their own bronzes an plaster molds in their own studios, that means they could not possibly have made very many and almost all the ones that come up for sale are later reproductions or casts made by other people.
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2006, 04:41 AM
Robert Mileha. Robert Mileha. is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Of course Lanseer has got to be right, what worries me is that we didn't recognise the (c) copyright symbol or at least I didn't. Interesting if you are a collector; for the sculptor producing work now it is a lesson for the future although the rules are still a little vague and China and the far East are copying everything, you can order up your own David in marble for a few dollars these days, full size for a few more no doubt!
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  #18  
Old 12-07-2006, 06:15 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

I don't think it is a C. It looks to me like the C shape is the inside negative part of a hallmark. Considering the quality of the piece why would a copyright C be so sloppy? And unless that thing has balls it looks like a lioness to me.

Thatch
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  #19  
Old 12-07-2006, 10:19 PM
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatch
I don't think it is a C. It looks to me like the C shape is the inside negative part of a hallmark. Considering the quality of the piece why would a copyright C be so sloppy? And unless that thing has balls it looks like a lioness to me.

Thatch
Photos are difficult to tell quality by, the bronze to my eye looks like a commercial cast, the (C) symbol looks like it was done in the wax cast with a pencil- basically done in quickly by hand, it doesn't look all that sloppy, it just looks like it was drawn in by hand over a bumpy uneven surface which would cause it to not be a perfect circle and "C"

The MODEL may be good quality, but the CAST could have been made anywhere and that (C) added to the wax instead of the model, that suggests to me more confirmation that it is likely a reproduction of an old piece and they put that symbol on the WAX because the original model was likely an old bronze which of course is hard.

With that scenario it all makes perfect sense- someone made a mold of an old bronze, maybe modified a thing or two here and there, cast the wax, drew on the (C), cast away, patina'd, glued on the felt or whatever and away it went out the door.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:32 PM
Sunny Sunny is offline
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Smile Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Hello Community Folks,

The panther is female, minus the necessary anatomy for a male - and she is solid bronze. Quite heavy.

She's made the trip from Virginia back to Texas.

I thank all of you for your considerable input and help.

Sunny
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  #21  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:40 AM
Sunny Sunny is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Landseer...et al,

This piece is solid. No plaster... felt is old, not new. The more I look at the "c" ... the less the image appears to be a letter of some sort and the more I wonder if it has more significance. I will agree, it has been drawn on - hence the imperfection. Regardless, we love the piece and will ask for the name of a reputable auction house in the San Antonio or Austin (Texas) area.

Again my thanks to all of you.
Sunny
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:41 AM
Sunny Sunny is offline
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Re: Bronze panther stalking on bronze ledge

Landseer...et al,

This piece is solid. No plaster... felt is old, not new. The more I look at the "c" ... the less the image appears to be a letter of some sort and the more I wonder if it has more significance. I will agree, it has been drawn on - hence the imperfection. Regardless, we love the piece and will ask for the name of a reputable auction house in the San Antonio or Austin (Texas) area.

Again my thanks to all of you.
Sunny
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