(Indianapolis, Indiana) Antique Helper Auctions is proud to present
a once in a lifetime collecting opportunity this December 11th with the personal
collection of famed Italian Sculptor Edgardo Simone (b. Brindisi Italy 1890,
d. 1948 Hollywood California). Classically trained, Simone worked in New York,
Chicago and California after immigrating from his native country; an overview
of his work reads like a Who’s Who of American society from the 1920s-1940s,
as many of the greatest celebrities of the time sat in his studio. His work
demonstrates a rare confidence of form when addressing human anatomy, coupled
with Twentieth Century influences ranging from Art Nouveau to Art Deco, resulting
in rare and wonderful works of art that are expertly crafted and full of passion.
As works by Simone have rarely appeared on the secondary market, this represents
an exciting opportunity for museums and collectors to gather pieces by this
important Twentieth Century artist. Coming directly from the artist’s estate,
the collection has been in the possession of his stepdaughter since the death
of his wife, American
Composer Dr. Radie Britain
(1897-1994). To further whet the appetite of
collectors and romantics alike, the sale will also include fine art and furnishings
from the couple’s Hollywood home.

The son of a Brindisi doctor, Simone studied at the Beaux Arts Academy
in Rome from 1906-1913, receiving a Doctorate of Design and Sculpture. Decorated
with the Croix de Guerre three times and decorated by King Victor
Emmanuel III and Queen Margherita
, Simone was widely recognized as a celebrated
sculptor in his own country before immigrating to the United States in the late
1920s. Simone created war, funeral and city monuments in 26 Italian cities;
it should come as no surprise that American newspapers celebrated his arrival
in New York, proclaiming “Italy’s Greatest Sculptor Arrives in New
York!”

Upon arriving in New York, Simone quickly established himself in society, executing
busts of the likes of Thomas Edison, General J. Pershing, Justice Frankfurter,
Henry Ford, Oliver Wendell Holmes
as well as Brandeis and Mussolini
himself. In addition, such diverse personalities as socialite Mrs. Howard
Chandler Christy
(Nancy Palmer Christy) and Sally Rand, who made
her mark as the famous Fan Dancer at the Chicago Century of Progress World’s
Fair in 1933-1934, sat as models in his studio. Other well-known American celebrities
and personalities portrayed by Simone include two busts of President Franklin
D. Roosevelt
, as well as a bust of Jane Storrs and author Theodore
Dreiser
, whose bronze bust is part of the permanent collection of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York
.

In 1940, Simone married internationally known American pioneer classical composer
Radie Britain in Arizona. A native of Amarillo, Texas, Britain was a
gold medal organist whose compositions have been performed nationally as well
as internationally. Britain graduated with honors from the American Conservatory
in Chicago, where she also taught after debuting as a composer in Munich, Germany.
She created “Southern Symphony” and “Light
during two seasons at the McDowell Colony in Peterboro, New Hampshire, and débuted
her composition “Lament” at the White House. Britain gave major performances
with the Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit Philharmonic Orchestras, and, in 1945,
she became the first woman to receive the Julliard Publication Award
for “Heroic Poem,” a work dedicated to Charles Lindberg’s
historic flight. Dr. Britain collaborated on a Grand Opera with Rupert Hughes,
uncle of Howard Hughes, published “From Riding Herd to Writing
Symphonies
,” an autobiography, and “Composer’s Corner,
a detailed book on musical composition. Most of Britain’s compositions
are in the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at Indiana University in
Bloomington, Indiana.

After their marriage, Simone and Britain moved to Coronado, California, where
Simone crafted works for the Franciscan Missions and a life sized depiction
of Lola Spreckles on water-skis. In the 1940s, the Simones moved to Los
Angeles, where Edgardo became actively involved in Arts, Painters and Sculptors
clubs, winning many awards and recognition for his work. Employed at MGM
Studios
, Simone executed busts of many of Hollywood’s most well-know
celebrities, including Marlene Dietrich and David Niven. Additionally,
Simone created a full-sized depiction of Christ on the alter cross used in the
film “The Song of Bernadette” and a ceramic center piece in
the style of Della Robbia for make up artist Jack Dawn.

Theirs was a lively household, as plastic surgeons studied Simone’s expertly
sculpted examples for anatomy and actors and actresses like Cyd Cherise
studied piano with Doctor Britain. The Hollywood home was filled with musical
evenings that included Essio Pinza, Renata Tebaldi and Salvatore Baccaloni.

Antique helper is pleased to present the works of Edgardo Simone and
furniture and antiques from the Hollywood home of Radie Britain
and her husband at public auction on December 11th, 2005. Included in this action
will be the bust of Jane Storrs and two busts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
including a small caricature of the late President. Also offered will be a ceramic
piece entitled “Dream,” modeled by Mrs. Howard Chandler Christy and
a signed bust of Marlene Dietrich; larger works include several bronze fountains,
including an exuberant girl on water-skis, dated 1929, and the two piece ceramic
centerpiece created for MGM makeup artist Jack Dawn. In addition, there will
be a wide selection of ceramic works, including figural vases and plaques, as
well as studies in plaster and terracotta. Most of the sculptures are signed
and dated by the artist. To view our online catalog, visit our website at www.antiquehelper.com,
or for more information, please call Antique Helper at 317-251-5635.