Maximilien Fiot Bronze, ca. 1920
This was my grandmother's. Prior to her passing away, I always fell in love with it. And I had asked her what she was planning on doing with that. And she said, "Well, if you want it, it's yours."
So you remember seeing it as a kid and visiting her?
Yes, she was an animal lover, and had quite a number of pieces that were related to birds and dogs and things like that.
Any idea where she got it?
I have no idea. I'm sure that my grandfather, who passed away several years earlier than her, had gotten it for her. But where he acquired it, I have no idea.
Well, it's a wonderful piece. It's French, actually. It's by an artist named Maximilien Fiot. And it's very clearly signed right here in the front. He was an interesting artist. He was born in the 1880s and lived until the 1950s. And in France, there was this tradition called animalier artists, who were sculptors who specialized in depicting animals. The leading artist was Antoine-Louis Barye. And he started this whole interest in a very romantic idea of animals in the wild, nature, a lot of the animals eating each other, attacking. So that was the tradition. And this artist, Fiot, is interesting, because he's sort of the third generation. So his, his teacher studied with somebody who was the same period as Barye. So there's this interesting continuation.
This piece was probably done in the 19-teens or the 1920s. It's an example of that continuation of the animalier tradition well into the 20th century. It was cast by probably the most prominent foundry in Paris at the time, which is Susse Frères. And they're interesting, because they also started in the early part of the 19th century, in the 1830s. So they cast all that first generation of animalier sculptors. So we have this wonderful combination of an artist working in the animalier tradition, and a foundry that's continuing. The piece is beautifully modeled. I mean, he was a highly skilled artist. And I think what's wonderful about this, is the interaction between the horse and this little doggy. I mean, I think it's just so charming and really wonderful. And I think you get an idea of the personality of these two figures interacting.
In terms of the valuation on this, I mean, this is large for his work. Usually, we just see sort of single figures. A retail value on this would probably be in the $7,000 to $8,000 range.
Very nice, very nice.
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.