Alexandre Falguière Bronze, ca. 1880
It belonged to a friend of my mother's, Christine Hoyt. When my mother was little, she used to go over to Christine's house, who was her next-door neighbor, and she used to read her the Reader's Digest, and as my mother got older, she moved away, but she still kept in touch with Christine. Christine used to travel to different parts of the world, and right before World War II, she traveled to Europe, like France, Italy, and Germany. And when she got back, she brought home a ton of antiques. This statue was one of them, and when she died at the age of 93 in 1975, she left a lot of antiques, including this statue, to my mother.
Uh-huh. That's wonderful. Well, you've brought in this wonderful French 19th-century sculpture. It's by, actually, one of the leading academic sculptors in France at this time. His name was Alexandre Falguière. He's not particularly known in this country, but in his period, he was very, very well-known. He got lots of public commissions, he did things for the Paris Opera, he worked on architectural decorations, and he actually had five workshops, and he's also well-known as a teacher. One of his students was the famous American sculptor Frederick MacMonnies. The piece is very interesting because it's actually signed here, "Falguière," right on the top. And I think even more interesting is that it's signed "Goupil"-- G-O-U-P-I-L-- "& Company." And Goupil was a very famous gallery in Paris, and they had branches all over the world-- in London, in Vienna, in Berlin, and also in New York. And they published prints of paintings, and they also made editions of these bronzes, and they're very, very well-known. And, in fact, Vincent Van Gogh worked for Goupil Galleries in their London office, and his brother Theo Van Gogh also worked for Goupil and introduced the impressionist painting... painters to the market, through the Goupil Galleries. So you have a wonderful thing. But there's something else you... one of your primary interests was what that was, right?
Yeah, we've been wondering about that for years.
And it's really very, very straightforward. It's just a little knob to turn the piece. Originally, this piece would have had a pedestal. It had a turntable just like this, and this piece was used to turn it so that you could look at it from all sides because it's really quite wonderful all the way around. You have any idea of what the value is?
I have absolutely no idea.
Yeah. Well, again, it's very desirable, it's a good quality, the casting is wonderful, the patina is wonderful, the size is great, it has this wonderful, exotic subject matter. At auction we would probably get between $8,000 and $10,000 for it.
Oh, my gosh!
Oh, my gosh, that's amazing.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.