Carrier-Belleuse Sculpture, ca. 1860
Appraised Value: $5,000 (1999)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:18)
Metalwork & Sculpture
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: Well, it was something in our family from our great-aunt, and we remember growing up with her. After she died, she left it to my dad, and it's been in our house.
GUEST: And I remember as a child seeing it in our living room, and I thought she was a nun. And it represented something that I needed to be very, very good when I came in front of her.
APPRAISER: It's a really nice bronze. It's a 19th-century bronze by one of the most prolific artists of the 19th century. His name was Albert Carrier-Belleuse. And he worked in bronze, ivory, terra-cotta. He did porcelains, marbles. He was born in the 1820s. There was a period of about five years in the 1850s when he moved to England, and he worked at the Minton factory in Staffordshire, which was the leading English porcelain maker at that time. He came back and did quite a number of works of famous people, portrait busts. He exhibited regularly at the salon exhibitions, which were annual exhibitions. And the piece that you have is very nice because it's a piece that was exhibited at one of these salons. And here, not only does it have the title of the piece, it has his name and it says that it won a prize in the salon. He was also very famous because he was the teacher of the most famous sculptor of the 19th century, Auguste Rodin.
GUEST: Oh, my, really? Oh, my goodness!
APPRAISER: Yes, Rodin started in his studio as an assistant.
GUEST: Oh, my!
APPRAISER: He also later in his career became the head of the Sevres Porcelain Factory, which was the royal porcelain factory that was started in the 18th century. So in 1875 till the end of his life, he was director at Sevres. The piece you have here is really nice, and what makes it even more interesting is that the head and hands are carved in ivory. It was very popular in the 20th century in the Art Deco period to have figures with ivory. This piece is beautifully cast. It's very clearly signed with the artist's name, Carrier-Belleuse. It's in fairly good condition. The artist made this in a few sizes. He made it without the ivory. This piece, with the bronze and ivory in this size is actually worth about $5,000.
GUEST: Oh, my-- wow. Oh, my goodness!
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