Mahonri Young Sculpture, ca. 1910
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:32)
Metalwork & Sculpture
Lillian Nassau, LLC
GUEST: My great-grandfather was a friend with Mahonri Young, who was the sculptor, and got this from Mahonri and later did a still-life painting of it. And I got them from my grandparents.
APPRAISER: Interesting. And you said they were actually childhood friends.
GUEST: Yes, in Utah, and then they both were interested in art and saved their money and went to Paris and studied art in the early 1900s.
APPRAISER: Well, Mahonri Young was a very, very prominent sculptor of the late 19th and early 20th century. He was the grandson of Brigham Young, who led the Mormons to Utah, so he's the grandson of a very, very prominent figure. He got some basic art instruction in Utah, and they say that he liked to sculpt little things when he was young from clay that he found near his house. And he also studied in New York, and in 1899, he went to Paris with your grandfather.
APPRAISER: And they studied at this very famous academy, the Académie Julien and the Académie Colarossi. And Mahonri was a member of the National Sculpture Society. He exhibited extensively. He was in the famous 1913 Armory Show. He was in the Panama Pacific Exhibition, where he won a medal. And he really was quite prolific. He did a whole range of subject matter.
GUEST: I know he did a monument where the pioneers came into the valley, "This Is the Place" monument, on the east side of Salt Lake.
APPRAISER: That's right, and he did a life-size sculpture of Brigham Young for the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
APPRAISER: He also did American Indians, different tribes. He did a very famous series of boxers-- two guys, like, slugging it out-- that's very interesting. And your piece, I think, is quite fascinating, because I think it reflects this early 19th century, very intimate kind of scene. This is a very personal subject, this mother and child. This has a nice sense of the way the clay was modeled when it was put on. It's a really spectacular piece. And his work is quite rare for some reason-- maybe he spent a lot of time doing big, monumental works and commissions so we don't see a lot of these on the market. I think if this was to come up at auction, you're talking about, I would think, between $10,000 and $15,000.
APPRAISER: The Indians and these boxer subjects are more desirable. They can bring $25,000, $30,000.
APPRAISER: But for what this is, I think this is a wonderful piece of sculpture.
GUEST: Okay, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
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