Appraisal Video: (3:15)
Paintings & Drawings
GUEST: Well, I know that it's a sketch done by Rodin for his sculptures. I really didn't know much about it until I attended a Rodin show here in Washington-- I guess it was about ten years ago-- and I saw a number of these sketches and there was a film about it. And they said that he had done some 3,000 sketches, of which 2,000 are now owned by the French government, and 1,000 are owned, uh, in private hands. And it-it got me very excited about it. My mother had purchased these around 1949 in Paris, four to five years after the war. I don't know what she paid, but I suspect, 1) she was a very good buyer, and 2) immediately after the war, the dollar, the dollar had good purchasing power, so...
GUEST: And she bought two and gave them to me as an anniversary present a few years back.
APPRAISER: Well, what happened to the other one?
GUEST: I have the other one.
APPRAISER: You do?
GUEST: Yeah, but I, I felt that one represented the other.
APPRAISER: For many of us, usually when you hear the name Rodin,you think of his sculptures.
APPRAISER: The famous ones, "The Kiss," "The Thinker," but he was known for doing many of these drawings as well. and the drawing technique that he employed was that he would look at the model. His face would be on the model. He'd be looking at her and
he would draw like this. So the eyes were over there and he'd be drawing on the page. Now, I have to preface this by saying the vast majority of these kind of drawings that I've seen tend to be not by Rodin. I picked this one out today because I think there is a reasonable shot that it's right. Having said that, I would have to qualify it. It's really the people at the Musée Rodin in Paris, who have a list of some 7,000 of these, who would have the final say on it. But the signature is certainly very assured. The line appears very fluid. It's got a mixture of the graphite and watercolor, which you associate with him, and so, as I say, I feel there, there's a reasonably good chance that this is, this is actually by Rodin. And this is characteristic of many of the works that he would have been doing probably in the early part of the 20th century. He revisited drawing in the 1890s, died about 1917. And this would be a later one and it's really the later ones that one has to watch out for. A lot of them emerge, and they tend to be shot down as not being right. One thing I want to draw your attention to before I give you a figure is that looking at the ripples down here... and these little marks... suggest to me that this may have been whatwe say "laid down." So it may have actually been stuck onto another piece of board. I can't tell you for sure without taking it out of this frame. If that is the case, and I suspect it to be so, then that's going to devalue it slightly. And in this particular instance, I would estimate it for auction at probably $8,000 to $12,000. Now, if it was properly matted and attached by hinges and loose paper, I would expect it to make a bit more than that, maybe $10,000 to $15,000, or even plus, plus.
APPRAISER: If it subsequently turned out, in fact, that this was not by Rodin, the value would really be next to nothing,
APPRAISER:...to be honest.
GUEST: Okay. All right. I appreciate that.
APPRAISER: Not at all.
GUEST: Thank you very much.
APPRAISER: My pleasure.