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    1879 René de Saint-Marceaux Bronze

    Appraised Value:

    $15,000 - $20,000 (2012)

    Appraised on: July 14, 2012

    Appraised in: Rapid City, South Dakota

    Appraised by: Kerry Shrives

    Category: Metalwork & Sculpture

    Episode Info: Rapid City (#1714)

    Originally Aired: April 29, 2013

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Sculpture
    Material: Bronze
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $15,000 - $20,000 (2012)

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    Appraisal Video: (2:30)


    Appraised By:

    Kerry Shrives
    Metalwork & Sculpture

    Skinner, Inc.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I bought it from friends that were in the antique business when they liquidated their business. This was back in the Boston area, in about '76.

    APPRAISER: What did you pay for it at the time?

    GUEST: $2,400.

    APPRAISER: That was a lot of money.

    GUEST: (laughing) I liked him.

    APPRAISER: So are you a collector, or was this something that struck your eye?

    GUEST: No, he just struck my eye, and I had to have him when they offered him to me. Yeah.

    APPRAISER: So you don't know much about the artist or...?

    GUEST: I just know that he's French.

    APPRAISER: Well, it is a French artist. René de Saint-Marceaux. And he was born in 1845 and died in 1915. He did a lot of public commissions, but he also did some small-scale works that were mostly portraits and animals. I think those were the more commercially viable works. This is a wonderful figure of a harlequin, a jester.

    GUEST: It may have been what attracted you to it. I think it was the mask, the eyes. Yeah.

    APPRAISER: No, it's wonderful. And he's standing on this naturalistic wooden floor, this great, defiant pose.

    GUEST: Very confident.

    APPRAISER: And it's signed here on the back. We can spin him around a little bit. But it's signed Saint-Marceaux here, 1879. And then it has a Barbedienne foundry, which was one of Paris's best known bronze foundries.

    GUEST: Oh, okay.

    APPRAISER: And then there's this little mark here, which shows that it's a reduced version of a larger-scale piece.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: There's a marble of the same subject that is a life-size figure.

    GUEST: Where is it located now?

    APPRAISER: It's in Vichy, in France.

    GUEST: Okay, okay.

    APPRAISER: And there are also on the market have been some life-size plaster reproductions of the marble, and this version, which seems to be his best-known sculpture, in a whole bunch of different sizes--so everything from probably around a foot high and up. And this is probably the largest scale.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: So you paid a fair amount for it in the '70s.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: Have you had it looked at in this intervening time?

    GUEST: I did about ten years ago with a local antique dealer. And he thought about $6,000.

    APPRAISER: Based on its size, the fact that it's the largest scale, I think that price was undervalued. I'd say in today's market, at auction, probably in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.

    GUEST: You're kidding.


    GUEST: What a wonderful surprise.

    APPRAISER: Yeah, it is a wonderful piece.

    GUEST: (laughing) I can't believe it.

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