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Charles Marion Russell sculpture, Sèvres vase, clown portrait

Created date

April 13th, 2017

From left to right, Charles Marion Russell sculpture, Sèvres vase, clown portrait

Q: My wife and I acquired this sculpture at an art fair. We both like it and have it displayed with other pieces of art we have acquired over the years. I have always wondered if it is reminiscent of someone else’s work or if I can discover the name of the actual artist. I was in Santa Fe, N. Mex., this past summer and [searched] the galleries but was unsuccessful. Is there any chance you can shed some light on the artist for me?  —Daniel

A: The signature is that of American artist Charles Marion Russell (1864–1926). He was a painter and sculptor who depicted the Wild West of America and Western Canada, including cowboys, Indians, and landscapes. There are a lot of copies of his works as well as of another famous artist Frederic Remington. This particular bronze is “The Watcher of the Plains.” It will sell between $300 and $800 if it’s original; the copies are approximately $50.

Q: This Sèvres vase has been in our family since just after the market crash in 1929. It was purchased at Sotheby’s Auction House. It is about 40 inches tall. I would like to hear a quote of the value to buy at auction or just the appraisal value.   —Walter

A: Sèvres porcelain manufacturers are one of the most revered in the world. The vase you are showing in the picture is a handsome example. This fashion of decorating and collecting is not popular in the U.S. this decade, but internationally, Sèvres pieces are highly collected. This vase, if in good condition, would bring upwards of $7,500–$15,000 at auction. All international auctions today are online and exactly what you need to market it. 

Q: This is an oil painting by M. Werner. I wonder if it has any value, and if so, where to sell it.  —Sharon

A: The art of clown portraits has been around for centuries. However, it is not a highly sought-after subject matter and therefore does not bring a lot of value in the auction market. Since the circus originated in Europe, you will find most nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists are European. I can’t find any information on this artist, only examples of his work. Sales value estimates are $50–$150.


Ask the expert

Carolyn Remmey is the principal appraiser of Remmey Antiques & Fine Art, an international appraisal, personal property consulting, and brokerage firm. She is a lecturer and writer as well as an expert on downsizing, estate sales, and auctioneering. Remmey has been a participating appraiser on The Antiques Roadshow and the History Channel and is a member of the Appraisal Association of America.  

Do you have a family heirloom or special keepsake you think has value? Please send your inquiries with photos (photos cannot be returned due to the time limitations of the staff) to Remmey Antiques & Fine Art, P.O. Box 197, New Vernon, N.J. 07976, or email remmey@remmeyappraisers.com.  

Please note: Because of the high volume of inquiries, only a few will be selected for publication each month.

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