MONUMENTAL BEAR BREAKS AUCTION RECORD AT ANTIQUE HELPER
(Indianapolis, Indiana) June 4, 2007. A monumental (27 ½” high) bronze bear by Isidore Jules Bonheur (French, 1827-1901), brought a record-breaking $58,650, including 15% buyer’s premium*, when it hit the auction block at Antique Helper’s Sunday June 3 auction. “It was a privilege and a delight to handle such a piece,” says Antique Helper staff member Bill Kranz. “The record result was gratifying, but it was equally satisfying to have had the opportunity to handle such an important piece of sculpture.” Expected to bring between $20,000 and $30,000, this magnificent piece was the work of an artist known for his representations of animals. Bonheur, like his sister, French Realist painter Rosa Bonheur, was trained as an artist from an early age by his father. He worked as an animal and landscape painter until 1848, when he began to focus on sculpture. Best known for his bronze horses, Bonheur also realistically depicted bears and other wildlife. Critically acclaimed, he received the gold medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1889, and exhibited at the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy in London.
This beautiful bruin, marked with marks from the Peyrol Foundry, received international attention. Bidders as far away as Northern Ireland tried to trap this prize. But the winning bid came from an American telephone bidder, easily surpassing the high estimate of $30,000.
Watch future auctions for more examples of fine sculpture. Antique Helper will present an exciting collection of Native American artifacts on Saturday, July 14th. For more information about Antique Helper auctions, please call 317-251-5635 or visit our website, www.antiquehelper.com.