Anna Hyatt Huntington Bronze Bear Cub, ca. 1910

Value (2009) | $5,000 Insurance

GUEST:
I brought in a little metal bear that was my great-grandfather's. And this was given to me by my uncle, who came to visit me at one time while I was a zookeeper, and enjoyed his trip so much and thought I would appreciate the bear. I know it's by Anna V. Hyatt, but I really don't know much about the artist, nor when it was done.

APPRAISER:
Okay, well, it's a wonderful bronze. What's so nice about it is its size. It's such a tactile object. And it's signed, "Anna V. Hyatt." She's also better known as Anna Hyatt Huntington, with her married name.

GUEST:
Oh!

APPRAISER:
And she was actually one of America's most prolific sculptors of the 20th century and one of the really very prominent women sculptors who paved the way for a lot of others to, um, gain their own success. She was born in 1876 in Cambridge, Mass.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
And her father was actually a professor at Harvard of paleontology and zoology.

GUEST:
Oh, how interesting.

APPRAISER:
And that was, I think, what really sort of got her interested in animals. Quite a bit of her sculpture relates to animal subjects. She did this bear, jaguars, and lions and tigers and elephants. Just right up my alley. All kinds of animals. And she really seemed to have, you know, an amazing sense of being able to capture the movement in the animal.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
This is a very playful subject matter.

GUEST:
Yes, it is. Playing with his toes, you know, bear cub on its back. There are some other markings. It actually has the markings of the foundry where it was cast, which was the Gorham Foundry in Providence, Rhode Island.

GUEST:
Oh, that's what that is.

APPRAISER:
And they actually were one of the sort of mainstays. They produced many, many bronze castings. And this is actually number four of this model out of, I think, I believe 138 that were cast by them.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
And it probably dates from about 1910.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
So one of her earlier works. She was very successful in her time. She married quite late in life. She married the philanthropist Huntington when she was in her late 40s.

GUEST; Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
She had an amazingly long career. She was active for more than 70 years.

GUEST:
Oh, my word.

APPRAISER:
So she worked throughout her entire life, and I think her last works were done when she was in her 90s...

GUEST:
Oh, my word!

APPRAISER:
So she was obviously very passionate about the work that she did. She died in 1973. She spent quite a bit of time in New York at the Bronx Zoo, sketching animals. But it's really, again, a charming subject matter. It is quite small, but, you know, a very well regarded artist who has quite a body of work. I would think for insurance purposes, you want to think of a figure at around $5,000.

GUEST; Okay. Oh, that's wonderful. Thank you so much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Skinner, Inc.
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Skinner, Inc.
Appraised value (2009)
$5,000 Insurance
Event
Madison, WI (July 11, 2009)
Period
20th Century
Form
Sculpture
Material
Bronze

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