Lot 53: Edgar Degas (1834-1917, French) Le Tub, Bronze, from Hébrard Foundry. Conceived circa 1886 and cast shortly after 1919.
Fine Art, Antiques & Decorative Arts
January 30, 2013
Cleveland, OH, USA
Edgar Degas (1834-1917, French)
Bronze, from Hébrard Foundry. Conceived circa 1886 and cast shortly after 1919.
Dimensions: h: 7.75 x w: 17.88 x 16.63 in. / 19.7 x 45.4 x 42.2 cm.
*This bronze was examined side-by-side with the "Le Tub" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Walter Maibaum, a leading authority on Degas bronzes, and Mrs. Clare Vincent, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who has overseen the Degas bronzes in the museum's collection for over 40 years. The two experts agreed that the bronze appears to be an authentic cast made by the Hébrard Foundry. We are unable to establish which letter this edition is, due to lack of base.
Conceived circa 1886 and cast in an edition of twenty-two between 1919-1921, numbered from A-T plus two casts reserved for the Degas heirs and the founder Hébrard, Marked HER and HER.D. Charles Millard called Le Tub, "the most original, not only of his own pieces, but of all 19th Century sculpture" (C.W. Millard, op. cit., page 107). Degas once told a visitor "until now, the nude has always been presented in poses which assume the presence of an audience, but these women of mine are decent, simple human beings who have no other concern than that of their physical condition... it is as though one were watching through a keyhole." (see G. Adriani, Degas Pastels, Oil Sketches, Drawings, London, 1985, p.86).
Provenance: Property of a Private Collector.
In 2002, The Art Loss Register had completed a database search. The sculpture does not appear in the ALR database as being stolen or missing. This sculpture was discovered in a painter's warehouse studio in New York City. The owner had inherited the piece from his father, who had purchased it from a New York City antique dealer 40 years earlier for $25.00. Neither the father nor the dealer were aware that it was a Degas because of the missing base, where the signature and foundry marks were located. The father was told that the damaged sculpture had allegedly belonged to famed Broadway producer Billy Rose, and that it was damaged in a fire at his Mount Kisco, NY estate in the late 1950's. Billy Rose had an extensive art collection which was donated to the Israel Museum upon his death in 1966.
Note condition: lacking signature and foundry marks due to fire damage, resulting in the loss to base of sculpture, all four corners of base forcibly removed, upper portion of sculpture intact with minor heat stress tears, see photos, damage to base and patina consistent with fire damage.