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    Sale 7702

    Impressionist/Modern, Day Sale

    5 February 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 322

    Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

    Cheval marchant au pas relevés

    Price Realised  


    Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
    Cheval marchant au pas relevés
    signed, numbered and stamped with the foundry mark 'Degas 11/G CIRE PERDUE A.A. HEBRARD' (Lugt 658; on the base)
    bronze with brown patina
    Height: 8 7/8 in. (22.6 cm.)
    The original wax model probably executed before 1881 and cast between 1919 and 1921 in an edition of twenty-two numbered A-T, plus two casts reserved for the Degas heirs and the founder Hébrard, marked HER and HER.D respectively

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    Degas once remarked to the critic François Thiébault-Sisson that, in his desire 'to achieve exactitude so perfect in the representation of animals that a feeling of life is conveyed, one had to go into three dimensions' (quoted in R. Kendall, exh. cat., Degas: beyond Impressionism, London, 1996, p. 255). Degas would model wax figures of horses or dancers almost as an extension of his drawings, manipulating the highly pliable wax over improvised armatures as he explored movement which he would subsequently translate into his paintings of racing scenes or ballerinas. Anne Dumas has noted: 'Degas was obsessed, above all, with the figure, with movement and pose. Drawing for him was a way of discovering and capturing motion and posture. His sculpture can perhaps be seen as an extension to drawing, a means by which Degas could work through his ideas in a direct, tactile and three-dimensional form, and a fresh arena in which to work out problems. Like his printmaking, sculpture was a particularly experimental form' (J.S. Czestochowski & A. Pingeot, Degas Sculpture: A Catalogue Raisonn of the Bronzes, Memphis, 2003, p. 40). Degas was so absorbed by these equine figures that in 1888 he chose them over his series of pastel bathers, stating, 'I haven't yet done enough horses. The women must wait in their tubs' (quoted in ibid., p.15).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris.
    Emil and Alma Staub-Terlinden, Männedorf, by whom acquired from the above on 9 February 1922 (CHF 4,000), and thence by descent to the present owners.

    Saleroom Notice

    This work has been requested for the forthcoming exhibition Degas: Figures in Motion to be held at the Art Gallery of Alberta from January to May 2010. Timed to coincide with the opening of their 84,000 square foot expansion, this will be the first Degas exhibition to be held in Western Canada.

    Pre-Lot Text


    In 1890 the 23 year old Emil Staub (1867-1929) inherited the family business in Männedorf in the Swiss canton of Zurich, a tannery and leather goods factory which had been in existence for four generations. The family's interests had originally been in cotton production and silk weaving but in 1894 Staub moved into industrial leather production. The section producing leather straps was at the time one of the leaders in its field, alongside the production of leather car tyres.

    In 1903 Emil Staub married Alma Terlinden (1883-1970), the daughter of Heinrich Terlinden, the owner of a dye house and chemical cleaning factory in Küsnacht. After the wedding Staub commissioned the building of a villa in the style of an English country house - Villa Alma - directly on the shores of Lake Zurich, in front of the factory complex in Männedorf. In a letter to the architects, Emil Staub wrote: 'Das Äussere soll gediegen aber nicht grossartig sein, damit (es) nicht herausfordernd gegen die Umgebung wirkt. Das Innere darf ohne Rücksicht auf die Öffentlichkeit ausgebaut werden...' (The exterior should be dignified but not grandiose, in order not to clash with the surrounding area. The interior can be constructed without regard for the opinion of others.)

    The move to the new villa marked the start of an intensive process of collecting. France held a unique fascination for the Staub-Terlindens, which, together with their penchant for French painting, accounts for the numerous trips they made. Their passion for the Impressionists in particular, unusual for the Swiss bourgeoisie at the time, had first been triggered by the couple's acquaintance with the Swiss painter Carl Montag (1880-1950) who had lived in Paris since 1902 and who had exhibited at the 'Salon des Indépendants' from 1905. Montag mixed with avant-garde circles and became friends with Pierre Bonnard and Henri Manguin but abandoned painting altogether in 1918 to help arrange the sale of French art to Swiss private collectors.

    Spanning almost a century, from Corot to Picasso, and including works by the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Nabis and Fauves, the Staub-Terlinden's collection was amassed during the couple's frequent buying trips to France where they would visit the galleries of such eminent dealers as Vollard, Durand-Ruel, Bernheim-Jeune, Wildenstein, Eugène Druet and Paul Rosenberg. Staub meticulously recorded details relating to his collecting activities, such as the artist, the dealer, the date of purchase and the price, in a little waxed cloth book 'Papa's Büchlein' (Daddy's Little Book), in which he also recorded his observations on the history and art of France and the French cathedrals he visited.

    The majority of the couple's purchases were made over a short period of time; the Staubs acquired 17 pictures in 1916 and a further 12 the following year. Among the early purchases were Pierre-Auguste Renoir's La grande baigneuse (1904-1906, private collection; fig. ?) and two paintings by Paul Cézanne - La bouteille de menthe (1893-1895, Rewald 772) now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and La clairière (circa 1895, Rewald 814), now in the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Over the course of fourteen years, Emil and Alma assembled one of the most important private collections of French 19th and 20th century art in Switzerland, comprising masterpieces such as Claude Monet's La Gare Saint-Lazare (1877, Wildenstein 439; fig. ?), now in the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a Nymphéas painting from 1905 (Wildenstein 1679, private collection) and one of Edouard Manet's earliest still lifes, Les Huitres (1862, Rouart & Wildenstein 63; fig. ?) now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

    As early as October of 1916, Staub loaned part of his collection to the Exhibition of French Painting at the Kunstmuseum in Winterthur, demonstrating a philanthropism that endured after his death: in 1938, Alma Staub-Terlinden lent 25 pictures to the important Parisian exhibition La peinture française du XIXe siècle en Suisse, more even than the Zurich Kunsthaus. The collection was well known in Staub's lifetime and in 1926 was acknowledged in the professional journal L'Amour de l'Art. When he died in 1929, Staub's collection contained 59 masterpieces, alongside many other works of exceptional quality.



    J. Rewald, Degas: Works in Sculpture, A Complete Catalogue, New York, 1944, no. IV (another cast illustrated p. 39).
    J. Rewald, Degas Sculpture, The Complete Works, London, 1957, no. IV, p. 141 (another cast illustrated pls. 7, 21 & 22).
    F. Russoli & F. Minervino, L'Opera completa di Degas, Milan, 1970, no. 39 (another cast illustrated p. 143).
    C.W. Millard, The Sculpture of Edgar Degas, Princeton, 1976, pp. 20, 59 (the original wax model illustrated pl. 15).
    S. Campbell, 'Degas: The Sculptures, A Catalogue Raisonné', in Apollo, August 1995, vol. CXLII, no. 11 (another cast illustrated p. 16).
    J.S. Czestochowski & A. Pingeot, Degas Sculpture: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Bronzes, Memphis, 2002, no. 11 (another cast illustrated p. 143).


    Zurich, Galerie Bernheim, January 1922.