Russian Eugene Lanceray Bronze Warrior Figure, ca. 1870

Value (2008) | $120,000 Retail$130,000 Retail

GUEST:
This was a gift from my father-in-law, who had it in his warehouse, and when I inquired about it, he offered for me to take it home, and that's about it. I don't really know much of the history about it.

APPRAISER:
You see that it's signed.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And did you look up who the artist was?

GUEST:
I have-- on the Internet, I looked it up once, and I didn't get a lot of information about him. It was kind of hard to find.

APPRAISER:
It is signed in Russian here.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And it's signed by the Russian artist named Eugene Lanceray. And he was born in Russia, but he actually studied in Paris. He was born in the 1840s, and he died in the 1880s. He spent most of his career in Paris, and he was known for doing these Russian subjects. And I actually found out the title of this piece, and I have to read it, and my Russian is awful,

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
so I have to apologize. But this is the warrior Sviatoslav. So it's a specific warrior from medieval times in Russia, and there's an inscription here in Russian on the bottom, and I managed to come up with a translation. It says, "We would rather fall in battle than bring shame upon Russia's land." And this was by Sviatoslav on his way back to Tsargrad in 970. So it's a specific historical figure, and you have a foundry mark here on the end, which is really good to have.

GUEST:
I didn't notice that, the foundry mark.

APPRAISER:
This interesting in terms of the quality of the casting. Lanceray was known for fine-quality work. Wonderful detail in all the costume, in the horse here and the expression. It has a wonderful patina on it. It does have some problems here with this green. Bronze is primarily made out of copper, so this is actually a kind of corrosion.

GUEST:
Can that be corrected?

APPRAISER:
It can be corrected, and it's relatively easily taken care of by a professional restorer. And his work is very desirable. There is a huge interest in Russian art by Russians. They're not only buying antiques, but they're also very active in the contemporary art market. The last couple of years have been just the high point of the Russian art market. Do you have some idea of the value?

GUEST:
I don't. I thought I saw a smaller statue for about $1,500, so I really couldn't guess.

APPRAISER:
Right-- there are much smaller ones, but this is exceptionally large, and it's very unusual to have one of this scale. There was a sale in London. Another model of this came up at auction, and what did it bring? A hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars.

GUEST:
Oh, no, you're kidding me. I think my wife probably just fainted. (chuckling) I can't believe that. Now... Is that what... you imagine this would be?

APPRAISER:
Well, again, this has condition issues.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
I would think it probably has a value in the range of $120,000 to $130,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Once it's restored, I don't think the value will be affected.

GUEST:
My head is spinning thinking about that.

APPRAISER:
Well, thanks for coming in.

GUEST:
Thank you very much. Wow, I'm really... The hair's standing up on my arms. I can't believe this.

APPRAISER:
Me, too. (both laughing)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Lillian Nassau LLC
New York, NY
Appraised value (2008)
$120,000 Retail$130,000 Retail
Event
Hartford, CT (August 23, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Form
Sculpture
Material
Bronze

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