Evgeny Naps Bronze, ca. 1880
It's a pretty powerful image. What drew you to this bronze?
WOMAN: I like Russian items. It doesn't matter what it is; silver, glass, anything Russian. I think they have the best artists, really. It's beautifully done.
How long have you had it?
I bought it in 1975. A little ways from my workplace, a very small town in Germany near Stuttgart, there was an antique shop. And when I had the day off, I would always go and visit, if they had anything what I would like.
Do you know much about the sculpture, or where it's from or the age?
I know that it's Russian. I know he is a Russian Cossack. I know it's a bronze and that's about all of it. But I think it was probably made-- my opinion-- before the revolution.
I would agree with you. Sometimes disappointing aspect of research is that we don't always find out everything that we want to find out when we look. The artist here is Evgeny Naps, and there's surprisingly little about him. He seemed to work in a circle of other sculptors, all working in a similar genre. A lot of scenes of Cossacks on horseback, hunting scenes of troikas, animals. And a lot of these artists were all creating these very similar scenes, which I think is what we-- in this country anyway and in Europe-- sort of see what Russian bronzes are like. It's a very much sort of a school. In himself we know very little. It does have the foundry information on it as well. It's the Woerffel Foundry on the back, of St. Petersburg. And he is listed as one of the artists. They had a number of artists that always did their castings through this foundry. From the way it's marked, I think the casting was done between 1870s and the 1890s. At a later point, the foundry was actually purchased by FabergÈ and stopped doing commissions; work for other artists.
Oh, this is very interesting.
But it's just a very wonderful subject matter. There's so much energy, there's so much expression on the face. Everything is beautifully done, a naturalistic base and again, very much what we expect to see from Russian bronzes and the quality we expect to see. Did you pay a lot for it at the time?
I paid $270.
Certainly was a good purchase. I would say for auction I would expect an estimate between $8,000 and $10,000. It was not a bad buy. (chuckling)
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