Two very different sculptural renditions from the era, one in stone, the other in bronze, performed well in recent Paris auctions.
One was a bronze figure of the sleek feline standing still with its back legs crossed - the work of Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916), the animalier bronziste par excellence. His lifelike representations were the result of close study of living animals in the Pars and Antwerp zoos.
The 12 x 23 x 8½in (30.5 x 58 x 21.5cm) bronze is a lost-wax cast from the Hébrard Foundry, like most of his works. Executed in 1907, signed and dated, it conveys both the power and suppleness of the beast. Bugatti’s star shows no sign of dimming.
This work featured in Leclere’s (27.6% buyer’s premium inc VAT) June 12 auction of Impressionist and modern art held at Drouot on June 12 where it was bid to €600,000 (£545,455).
The other big cat was a much more stylised version rendered in pink granite by Joseph Csaky (1888-1971). The Hungarian-born, Paris-based Cubist sculptor created animal subjects which often took this simplified form.
The 16in x 2ft 1in (41 x 65cm) carving from 1928, signed on the base, was one of 10 Csaky works offered in a mixed-discipline sale held by Magnin Wedry (25.2% buyer’s premium inc VAT) at Drouot on June 19.
These works were a mix of stone, bronze and plaster models. They had come from the collection of Andrée Vanbremeersch. A close friend of the artist, some of them were gifts, while others had been purchased from Csaky direct and others were acquired from the Jacques Kelekian collection with the sculptor acting as intermediary.
All 10 sold but the granite panther was much the most expensive of the group. It made €185,000 (£168,180).