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Falls Church Auction House to Sell Rodin Sculpture This Weekend

Family art once sat next to a gerbil cage, owner tells The Washington Post.

Auguste Rodin, Le Desespoir bronze Estimate $60,000 - $90,000, according to auction catalog. Photo from catalog
Auguste Rodin, Le Desespoir bronze Estimate $60,000 - $90,000, according to auction catalog. Photo from catalog
Quinn's Auction Galleries in Falls Church is in the news again — they're about to auction off an authenticated sculpture by Auguste Rodin, according to The Washington Post.

The French sculptor is best known for his work "The Thinker."

This particular sculpture, a bronze called "Le Desespoir" ("Despair") is estimated to bring $60,000 to $90,000 when it goes on the auction block Saturday at 11 a.m. 

Also read: General Robert E. Lee's Hair for Sale; Guess How Much?

Here's a description of the nearly 14-inch tall sculpture, from the catalog:

"Auguste Rodin Le Desespoir bronze.

Rodin, Auguste (French, 1840-1917). Lifetime casting circa 1905. Le Desespoir, “Despair.” Green patina bronze and carved marble. A woman sitting with legs bent, holding one foot with her head resting on her arms. Signed ‘A. Rodin’ on the top of base; with raised ‘A. Rodin’ on the underside of bronze portion (see photo). Height 13¾”(35 cm), base 8”(21 cm.) x 8½”(22 cm.)

This work will be included in the forthcoming Auguste Rodin catalogue critique de l’oeuvre sculpté currently being prepared by the Comite Rodin at Galerie Brame et Lorenceau under the direction of Jerome Le Blay.

A similar sculpture can be seen at the Musee Rodin in Paris, catalog number S.1129 and referenced in A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue Works in the Musee Rodin, Paris, 2007, vol. I.

Provenance: Provenance: While the initial purchase unknown, ownership can be tracked as follows: George Henry Howard (1885 - 1960). Bequeathed to daughter Elizabeth Howard Mathiasen (1927-2007) Currently owned by her husband Karl Mathiasen, Arlington.

George Henry Howard has numerous historical references the most important being he served as president of United Corp (a utility conglomerate founded in 1929 by John Pierpont Morgan (J.P. Morgan) from 1929 to 1943. He lived in New York City and would have most certainly been considering one of the wealthiest Americans throughout the Great Depression and into WW2."


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