Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915)
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915)

Duck

Details
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915)
Duck
bronze with a light brown patina
4¾ in. (12 cm.) long
Conceived in marble in 1914 and cast in bronze in 1964-68 in an edition of 12, and one further cast in lead on behalf of H.S. (Jim) Ede.
Provenance
with Mercury Gallery, London, where purchased by the previous owner's mother in 1992.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 22 November 2002, lot 74, where purchased by the present owner.
Literature
A. Hammacher, Modern English Sculpture, London, 1967, p. 54, another cast illustrated.
R. Cork, Vorticism and Abstract Art in the First Machine Age, Volume II, Synthesis and Decline, London, 1976, pp. 433-34, marble illustrated.
R. Cole, Burning to Speak, The Life and Art of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Oxford, 1978, p. 108, pl. 55, another cast illustrated.
R. Cole, Gaudier Brzeska Artist and Myth, Bristol, 1995, pl. 32, another cast illustrated.
E. Silber, Gaudier-Brzeska: Life and Art, London, 1996, p. 272, no. 90, pl. 132, marble illustrated.

Brought to you by

Anne Haasjes
Anne Haasjes

Lot Essay

The original marble Duck is in the collection of Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, having previously been part of Sophie Brzeska's estate. The present bronze cast is one of an edition of twelve bronzes cast by Fiorini from the marble. Roger Cole (loc. cit.) notes that this 'small semi-abstract work is one of a number of small toys carved by Gaudier out of small pieces of stone for his friends'. Evelyn Silber suggests that 'The Oriental tradition of small but exquisitely carved functional and decorative objects probably had more impact on the small 1914 pieces such as Small Fawn, Duck, and Brass Toy which redefine sculpture as something to be carried, handled and used' (op. cit., p. 130).

Bronze casts from this edition are in the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris; Tate, London; and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge.
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