Deer, Bugatti's companions

On 31 May 2019, by Claire Papon et Anne Foster

As luck would have it, two groups in bronze with a brown patina by Rembrandt Bugatti are heading for auction, including these Deer following each other.

Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916), Two deer following each other, proof in brown patina, casting from A.A. Hébrard's early edition, founder's stamp, ca. 1905, supporting documentation as No. 3, h. 29 cm. Estimate: €80,000/120,000

Both groups are early (lost wax) castings by Adrien Aurélien Hébrard (1866-1937) produced by Albino Palazzolo (a young exponent who was friends with the sculptor) and are estimated at €80,000/120,000. But while the group here was part of an edition listed to date as three numbered copies produced in around 1905, the one with two kudus (also known as Two friends), for sale on the same day, dates from around 1911 and is part of a series of 32 mostly numbered copies. The plaster model of these fallow deer is now in the Musée d'Orsay; the bronze was exhibited for the first time in 1906 at the Salon d'Automne in Paris. The young artist, who had moved from Milan in 1902, would go and gaze at the animals in the Jardin des Plantes menagerie. He lived with them for fifteen years, studying their behaviour and modelling every species he came across. Not a detail of their physical forms or emotions seems to have escaped him. His numerous deer models clearly indicate his liking for these species. His Asian and American red deer were cast in very limited series or as one-of-a kind pieces, like the fallow deer. Cousins to roe and red deer, they live for around twenty years in captivity.

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