1928 Demetre Chiparus "Persian Dancers" Bronze
It's a piece that's been in the family for a number of years. My grandfather, then my father. I ended up with it. It's beautiful and it fits very well in our home in New Orleans. It's just special.
Do you know anything about the artist who created it, or...?
Very, very little. I know it's probably done in Paris, Art Deco. Wonderful detail work, the ivory. It's been around a while. It's like a real person-- it has some little blemishes, some little cracks.
Well, that for us is actually a really good thing because we see so many fakes, particularly of this artist. It's Demetre Chiparus, who was Romanian of origin but did work in Paris. It is Art Deco period. This particular model was done in 1928. This signature is right here on the base. The base made... it's onyx and marble. This is titled "Persian Dancers" and it's modeled after dancers from the Russian Ballet. So the Russian Ballet would have performed in Paris and that was an inspiration for these figures. There's so much movement, there's so much elegance to it. It's just really a wonderful piece. There's so much expression there, and it's really the hand of a very gifted carver. You see all of this really fine detailing here, this bead work on the shoulder, the fabric. You can see age cracks in the ivory. This artist was particularly adept at mixing bronze and ivory together to make these really vibrant, exciting pieces full of motion. I'd say at auction in today's market, I'd estimate it between $100,000 and $150,000.
That's quite extraordinary. I'm not easily surprised or shocked, but that's shocking. I'm just going to put it back where we had it. I have two daughters; they'll figure it out later.
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