Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
3 More
Property from the Estate of Eugene V. Thaw
Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)

Weapons of the Weak

Details
Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
Weapons of the Weak
inscribed 'CM/Russell' with artist's skull device and 'R•B.W.' (along the base)
bronze with brown patina
5 ¾ in. (14.6 cm.) high
Modeled in 1921; cast circa 1922-28.
Provenance
The artist.
John D. Ryan, Butte, Montana, acquired from the above.
John D. Ryan, Phoenix, Arizona, grandson of the above, by descent.
Estate of the above.
Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, acquired from the above.
Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1997.
Literature
R. Stewart, Charles M. Russell: Sculptor, New York, 1994, pp. 77-78, 100, 102, 131n131, 226-29, another example illustrated.
G. Peters, Charles M. Russell: The Artist in His Heyday, exhibition catalogue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1995, p. 126, no. 48, another example illustrated.

Lot Essay

When Weapons of the Weak was first exhibited in 1921, a critic for the Los Angeles Times lauded, "the perfection in the composition of the mother bear, who has seized her two cubs in her arms...to defend them from the dangerous quills of an approaching fretful porcupine. What action, and what consummate skill in the delineation of bruin life and character." (as quoted in Charles M. Russell: Sculptor, p. 227)

According to a letter written by Ginger Renner, the present work is an original lifetime casting by the artist.  Rick Stewart writes, "When [Homer] Britzman published his compilation of Russell Bronzes in 1949, he listed a total of eleven casts for Weapons of the Weak. Excluding the four Nelli casts made in 1942 puts the number of casts produced in Nancy Russell's lifetime at seven. Approximately ten casts of the work are known to be in public and private collections, but at least four are examples cast after Nancy Russell's death." (Charles M. Russell: Sculptor, New York, 1994, p. 228) Other examples are in the collections of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas; the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming; and the Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas.
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