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"Thigley" Bronze Dog Portrait of a Cavalier King Charles 
French School (possibly Franck Burty Haviland)
Lost wax bronze casting
circa 1910 
5 7/8 x 9 x 3 1/4


A sophisticated bronze casting of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel made in lost wax casting (cire perdue) at the beginning of the 20th century by Valsuani Foundry. A very unusual bronze approached in its aesthetic that’s reminiscent of the work of great animal sculptors of the second half of the 19th century except in this presentation which is more avant-garde for the time with a much looser, more impressionistic execution. The patina is a superb bronze color, brown and slightly greenish, going in places towards a more antique green. 


The attitude of the dog is extremely well and sensitively rendered with the placement of material unlike the renderings of a bronze by Barye or Mène, et al.  This is definitely a modern and edgier artistic approach for the time. Innovative spirit like Rembrandt Bugatti, it’s in an excellent state of condition. 


Though highly stylized and well-executed, the author is as of yet indecipherable though with the signifier “Thighley” inscribed on the embankment. This is presumably the name of the noble Cavalier King Charles.  The signature on the terrace is something like “F. Haviland.” (We’ll continue our research! Though Franck Burty Haviland was a well-known and important figure of avant-garde and Cubist art at the beginning of the 20th century.) 


The foundry stamp on the terrace is signed “Valsuani, cire perdue.”  Regardless, this is a very beautiful dog bronze and cast by one of the most important and influential bronze foundries of past 120 years having been the foundry for the likes of the most famous artists of past century such as Rembrandt Bugatti, Renoir, Daumier, Picasso, Pompon, Matisse, Brâncusi, Braque, Degas, Giacometti, Picasso, Modigliani, Gaugin, Rodin, and numerous others. 


"Thigley" Bronze Dog Portrait of a Cavalier King Charles circa 1905

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