Notice Regarding the Sale of Material from Endangered Species.
Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country
The following twenty lots have been consigned by two collectors who began their quest for the finest examples of Art Deco sculpture over 25 years ago. They were most charmed by the lovely female figures produced by Ferdinand Preiss, a German artist who founded the firm Preiss & Kassler in Berlin in 1906.
Although Preiss' earliest figures were classical in subject, when his firm reopened in 1919 after the Great War he turned his attention to the depiction of contemporary children (see lots 12 and 13), acrobats (see lots 4, 5 and 16), and athletes (see lots 7, 8, 9 and 10). His figures are recognizable by their graceful forms and meticulously carved ivory elements. The bronze of these figures is often cold-painted in multicolored hues, and occasionally the ivory is delicately tinted to add naturalistic flesh tones.
In addition to creating sculpture based on designs by Preiss, Preiss-Kassler employed a number of other talented sculptors, including Paul Philippe (see lot 18) and Otto Poertzel (see lot 15).
The French school of chryselephantine sculpture is epitomized by the work of Demetre H. Chiparus, also represented in this collection. Chiparus was Romanian by birth but arrived in France in 1912 and by 1914 had exhibited his first work at the Paris Salon.
His fascination was with the modern women of the performing arts. Influenced by the exotic orientalism of the Ballets Russes as well as the music and theater of the day, Chiparus' best known subjects are lithe dancers in revealing costume (see lot 20).
Whether German or French in origin, the pieces in this private collection exhibit the highest caliber of workmanship, and each figure possesses the combination of vitality and grace characteristic of the simultaneously elegant and exuberant Art Deco era.