1920s Pierre Laurel Sculpture

Value (2003) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

GUEST:
It's from my great-grandmother, and her brother-in-law and sister-in-law found it in Paris, I believe. That's all I know about it is it came from Paris. They saw it in a window at an art store and they couldn't afford it, they didn't have enough money to afford it at the time and they went to a cafe and they had food and a bottle of wine, and then left and decided they could afford it. So they went back...

APPRAISER:
After the bottle of wine.

GUEST:
Absolutely.

APPRAISER:
What a surprise.

GUEST:
They went back and purchased it and they my grandmother and grandfather had gone to Denmark to visit his mother and it was given to them at that time to take back to California, so they did.

APPRAISER:
This was made in the art deco period in the 1920s and this was actually a waterfall, but I think it was strictly decorative. When I first saw it, I just was amazed. Look at the faces of the young women sitting up top here. And it's almost, what I would say, a story of adolescent love. There's three, young, beautiful women, almost the three graces up top here, and then there's the somewhat, I would say, mischievous, young boy here. I think the horns make me feel he's a little mischievous. He's a satyr-- half man, half goat-- and he's got this wonderful look on his face and it seems to be charming the young ladies at the top of the waterfall. Do you know anything about the artist?

GUEST:
No, I don't. We did find a signature, but we don't know who it is or anything else about it.

APPRAISER:
Took us a little bit to figure out who signed it, but it was by Pierre Laurel.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And he is a French artist well-known for art deco sculptures. Very famous for doing young, beautiful, long-legged young women. He was a very romantic artist of the art deco period. This might be one of his top pieces. It combines bronze work, carved marble... Which has very wonderful polished marble here, but yet a very rough cut to kind of visualize the waterfall, water flowing down. And it's just a phenomenal piece. Any clue whatsoever as to what you think it might be worth?

GUEST:
I don't have a clue.

APPRAISER:
Well, I'm hoping you have the expression of one of these young ladies in a smile when I tell you that I believe it's worth $10,000 to $15,000 at auction.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh.

APPRAISER:
It's a wonderful piece.

GUEST:
That's wonderful.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
DuMouchelles Gallery
Detroit, MI
Appraised value (2003)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Event
San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2003)
Form
Sculpture
Material
Brass, Marble

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