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    Demetre Chiparus Bronze & Marble Sculpture, ca. 1930

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: August 7, 2010

    Appraised in: Des Moines, Iowa

    Appraised by: Eric Silver

    Category: Metalwork & Sculpture

    Episode Info: Des Moines, Hour 1 (#1507)

    Originally Aired: February 14, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Sculpture
    Material: Bronze, Marble, Gilded
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $100,000

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    Video: Interview with the Owner
    Eunice, who brought a rare sculpture by Romanian artist Demetre Chiparu to the Des Moines ROADSHOW, reacts to finding out her flea-market find could be worth $100,000.

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    Appraisal Video: (3:12)


    Appraised By:

    Eric Silver
    Metalwork & Sculpture
    Lillian Nassau, LLC

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: We were in France for a business trip, and I had a chance to go either to Versailles or to the flea market, and I chose going to the flea market. I'd always heard about it, always envisioned it, and this is where I went.

    APPRAISER: You found this, and when was that?

    GUEST: That was in '61, '62.

    APPRAISER: So almost 50 years ago.

    GUEST: Oh, yes.

    APPRAISER: Well, you know who the artist is. It's by a Romanian artist named Demetre Chiparus.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: And he was one of the leading sculptors of the Art Deco period. So he worked basically in the 1920s and 1930s. And this work that you have is really incredible. It's gilt bronze, and this is carved marble. He did a number of works that had mixed materials. He's really well known for having done bronzes that had ivory in them that were further painted. His work is really quite rare, and as a matter of fact, even though I'm saying that it's rare, we see more Chiparuses on the Antiques Roadshow than any other sculpture. There's only one reason, though. Most of the Chiparuses we see are fake.

    GUEST: Oh, they are?

    APPRAISER: But you're lucky enough to have one that is authentic. It is a genuine Chiparus from the 1920s, from the 1930s. What's so interesting about yours is the size of it. Most of the Chiparuses are sort of this big or this big, and you have the giant economy size Chiparus. It was a hassle to get it home, I can tell you that. Well, you're lucky that you persevered. It's in great condition. It's gilt bronze, and then this has a brown patina on it, and you have the marble and it's slightly tinted here. This piece is called The Clown's Dream in the literature. Over here we have the signature. It's signed "Chiparus." Now, you didn't pay very much for it at the Paris flea market, did you?

    GUEST: (chuckling): No, I didn't. 50 dollars.

    APPRAISER: 50 dollars.

    GUEST: I'm embarrassed to say.

    APPRAISER: Chiparus's works are very desirable now. There's a strong influence of Russians on the market, and the Russian collectors like Chiparus. I could see a value for this in a gallery of $100,000.

    GUEST: Oh, m... Oh... my... goodness. Oh, my goodness. Oh! I am shh... I am... beyond shocked. I had... Oh! Whew!

    APPRAISER: And the market is very strong for this. This is extraordinarily unusual in this size. And the condition also is just extraordinary. It has everything going for it across the board.

    GUEST: It... It means a lot to me.

    APPRAISER: Well, that's good.

    GUEST: I really... love the piece. I cannot believe it. Thank you so much.

    APPRAISER: You're welcome.

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