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Interesting find

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Interesting find

Postby Randall » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:20 pm

In a very round-about way I found this interesting sculptor after watching of all things -a vintage film about the "new" (1968) Victoria railway in the UK.
As I was watching them detailed the new BlackHorse street station that was under construciton, and they showed a model of the station, then a horse profile sculpture plaque on the facade by the entrance.
Next it cut to showing the sculptor Dave Mcfall (1919-1988) modelling the original horse, and went on to detail that to some degree.

As the film progressed, it cut back to the horse twice more briefly, so I went to google street view and found the station, and the horse are still there.
Next I did alittle googling and found a web site on his work, he did a lot of interesting work, mostly figural and the horse was a little different from his other work.

I learned he developed a brain tumor, lost an eye and passed away just as he finished his last work- a bronze.
I found it interesting that he made the original horse from clay (Im assuming plasticene) then made a mold of it I htink, and cast it in plaster, and then the final was cast in fiberglass, not exactly my choice of a quality material...

I'm thinking he cast the plaster for at least one reason- to texture it as he is shown here with a textured hammer lightly working it over, tho this could be the clay too- hard to tell from the video exactly.


Image

Another view shows him chipping away what appears to be the plaster mold to reveal the black fiberglass cast;

Image

So he didn't make a rubber mold it seems, a bit odd to do this this way, maybe more definitive answers will come later.
Randall
 
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Re: Interesting find

Postby Randall » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:22 pm

Horse 184cm high x 216cm wide
The work was commissioned by the London Transport Board for the new Victoria Line underground. It was first modelled in clay, then plaster and finally cast in glass reinforced polyester.
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Re: Interesting find

Postby Randall » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:35 pm

Sort of related, I purchased a couple of bronzes on Ebay the other week, one of them was this horse 12" x 14" x 5", shipped at 22#

Image

I was real surprised that it's actually above expected quality, it is indeed real metal and a solid marble base, though I suspect they are made in China or Taiwan, and probably closer to brass than bronze, but the patina is very good and the whole thing has a quality look-feel to it.

I bought a smaller piece which isn't as nice, so I figured in looking at the seller's other bronzes, that the smaller pieces aren't as well detailed or good looking as the larger pieces are.
I bought two more large pieces in the same price range and they should arrive Friday. They all seem to be reproductions of classical works, the usual copies of Mene, Barye and others, but these are definitely above caliber in quality over the others I see around, and especially the patina is a real good, dark traditional nut brown.

Funny thing is I know what marble bases cost, and the metal too even if just mostly brass is also not cheap with today's metal prices.
In the past I remember paying around $25 for marble bases about 3/4" thick, 5" x maybe 7" for my small models, and that marble came from Mexico.
As I got all of these for the opening bid, the horse above being $145, I can't imagine there'd be much profit in them!
I paid almost that much to have just raw bronzes cast for me in the mid 90's, those 6" high standing dogs.
I also know how much work it is to cast bronze.
Randall
 
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Re: Interesting find

Postby Richard » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:27 pm

I like brass. For 145 dollars, the way that horse looks, it would be worth it cast in cement.

Richard
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Re: Interesting find

Postby Randall » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:06 pm

Totally agree Richard, it's a very nice piece.
One of the other two I bought that will come Friday is this ram I like a lot too, 13" high, 10" long, 6" deep and 16# on a marble base , it was $129


Image

Image

Not sure If I'll buy more, I really don't have much display space any more, but these were all so nice and the price is such I can't pass.
I always liked having a figure like this on a natural textured base, and on a piece of marble, so these all go right in line with exactly what I did and would do. It's nice how the marble is shaped oval, with a bevel, and you know that took extra time to do the cutting in that shape v/s slab rectangular.
Randall
 
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Re: Interesting find

Postby mantrid » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:57 am

Out of interest Randall are the pieces solid or hollow? It should be very top heavy if solid with the centre of gravity at around the top of the legs or even a bit higher.

Yes its amazing how cheap cast metal sculptures go on ebay. The cost is in the labour regardless of what metal is used. If made in US or europe there will definately be no profit in it. Materials, consumables fuel etc will be nearly that much. Must be made in the east somewhere.
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Re: Interesting find

Postby Randall » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:18 pm

These are always cast hollow when they are large as these are mantrid, so they had to be cored.
The metals are not cheap these days, not when copper runs around $4 a pound- I remember when it was 60 cents a pound.
Tin is around $12, zinc about $1.
These were cetainly made overseas, almost definitely in China, and almost certainly mostly brass - most people could never tell the difference, especially with a good patina as these have.
I have found a number of these in Google searching that appear to be linked to a bunch of "live auction" sites I found looking up the alleged artist's names on the bases.

Of course these "live auctions" are just scammy BS, they are connected- many of them are- to ebay, and others, to firms wanting to sell price-guide type antique subscriptions- they have the "sold for" prices all hidden and the usual "sign in to see what this sold for" come-on to get you to register and buy a subscription to their price guide.

One of them- liveauctioneers.com

Has one of the pieces which came today, listed, it's the same bronze Arab on a horse;

Lot 898
After F. PAILLET. Arabe Bronze
Sign In to see what this sold for
After FERNAND PALLET (French, 1850 - 1918) Arabe Bronze sculpture 14 x 5 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches not including base Signed in bronze Good condition
Estimate $1,500 - $2,000
Starting Bid $750

But if you search for the artist's name like this in Google-

FERNAND PALLET

You find almost nothing on him except multitudes of links to all these "live auction" places, at least the first 11 links all point to no less than 2 of these places.

And what an amazing coincidence, this other "live" auctioneer site has the exact same bronze, and even the "lot" number is in the 800's like the other, oh and it was an "estate auction" sure ;)

Bronze sculpture
Arabe
Lot 816
Michaan's Auctions
Sold for: 176 USD

Artwork Details
Dimensions:
14 x 5.50 x 10.50 inches
Medium: Bronze sculpture
Signed

Realized Price: Login/Upgrade to view result
Estimate: Login/Upgrade to view estimates
Lot Number: 816
Sale Information
Auction House: Michaan's Auctions
Event Name: Estate Auction
Date: Jan 7, 2012


But be that all as it may, and the fact they are copies/knock-offs of 19th century works, most likely not even directly copied via a mold but by photos as an "after," these are very heavy, good quality pieces that seriously compete with the better bronzes of this size/type I've seen.
The horse and the bighorn ram were very well done.
The Arab on the horse is very detailed and well done with the exception of the traces and the rifle's strap- both done using wire, which more properly and realistically should have been done with thin flat metal- not wire! Actually the Ebay pictures SHOW flat metal, but the cast I have used wire and I plan to let the seller know I'm not as happy about that.
It weighs 20#

Image
Randall
 
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Re: Interesting find

Postby mantrid » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:44 am

The metals are not cheap these days, not when copper runs around $4 a pound- I remember when it was 60 cents a pound.
Tin is around $12, zinc about $1.


off course the price of metal has risen considerably but relatively speaking the cost of the metal is small compared to the overall cost of producing the bronze.

There are hours of work there even at minimum wage thats definately the highest cost here (cant speak for china)
Then theres clay, wax, ceramic shell costs, fuel, electricity, consumables such as burrs, blasting media, chemicals for patination and many others). For me the bronze is a significant but small part, and thats bought silicon bronze ingots not home made from scrap.
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Re: Interesting find

Postby Randall » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:08 pm

off course the price of metal has risen considerably but relatively speaking the cost of the metal is small compared to the overall cost of producing the bronze.

There are hours of work there even at minimum wage thats definately the highest cost here (cant speak for china)
Then theres clay, wax, ceramic shell costs, fuel, electricity, consumables such as burrs, blasting media, chemicals for patination and many others). For me the bronze is a significant but small part, and thats bought silicon bronze ingots not home made from scrap.


You bet! I was just going solely by the cost of the metal, and that alone probably amounts to half the cost in the price I paid, meaning that when you add in the time, labor and the marble, transportation etc etc- not to mention the seller having to make something on the sale TOO- wow, the price is very cheap- even if it's scrap brass and they used very cheap crude melting practices for the furnace- burning old tires and using a vacuum cleaner exhaust to fan the fire hotter or something!

Still don't know how anyone can make these at these prices.
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Re: Interesting find

Postby jhonmartin374 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:12 am

The fact they are copies/knock-offs of 19th century works, most likely not even directly copied via a mold but by photos as an "after," these are very heavy, good quality pieces that seriously compete with the better bronzes of this size/type I've seen.

off course the price of metal has risen considerably but relatively speaking the cost of the metal is small compared to the overall cost of producing the bronze.

Out of interest Randall are the pieces solid or hollow? It should be very top heavy if solid with the centre of gravity at around the top of the legs or even a bit higher.
I bought two more large pieces in the same price range and they should arrive Friday. They all seem to be reproductions of classical works, the usual copies of Mene, Barye and others, but these are definitely above caliber in quality over the others I see around, and especially the patina is a real good, dark traditional nut brown.

even if it's scrap brass and they used very cheap crude melting practices for the furnace- burning old tires and using a vacuum cleaner exhaust to fan the fire hotter or something!

The metals are not cheap these days, not when copper runs around $4 a pound- I remember when it was 60 cents a pound...???
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