1912 Harriet Frishmuth Bronze Bookends

Value (2012) | $10,000 Retail
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GUEST:
I found them at a yard sale, and it probably was about 20 years ago. I kind of remember it pretty well because I bought about three sets of bookends and a number of other things.

APPRAISER:
How much did you pay for them?

GUEST:
Like all yard sales, there's two things I look for: something I like and something that has the right price point, so it was probably about three to five dollars.

APPRAISER:
Three to five dollars. They're great bookends by Harriet Frishmuth. They're very clearly signed and actually in fairly large, bold letters and dated here, 1912, with a little copyright. Harriet Frishmuth lived 100 years.

GUEST:
Oh, is that right? I didn't know that.

APPRAISER:
She was born 1880 and she died 1980.

GUEST:
Oh, how nice.

APPRAISER:
And she was one of America's most prominent sculptors in the beginning part of the 20th century. She studied in Paris with Auguste Rodin.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
She studied in New York City with Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore. And she was very prominent; she exhibited in many of the...National Academy of Design, various exhibitions. She specialized in active figures. She particularly liked dancers. She did a lot of fountains. She's in all major museum collections. What's particularly nice about her work is they were cast by the most prominent foundry in the United States. It was cast by the Gorham Foundry. And it's very clearly marked over here. It says "Gorham Founders." There are these little letters here, and that's a code that Gorham used. They kept very careful track of all of their things, and actually these are numbered also; they're numbered "34." Now, the Gorham archives are in existence, and you can access them and they can tell you exactly when they were cast, and sometimes they can tell you who they were cast for.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness.

APPRAISER:
And sometimes the archives will indicate how many were made, and they could have made 100, they could have made 150. In terms of the value, in a gallery setting, these would be about $10,000.

GUEST:
(gasping) Awesome! Whoa! More than I paid for them.

APPRAISER:
A little bit more.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Lillian Nassau LLC
New York, New York
Appraised value (2012)
$10,000 Retail
Event
Seattle, WA (August 18, 2012)
Period
20th Century
Form
Figure
Material
Bronze

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