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22 November 2018

Fine British and European Sculpture

Lot 21

After Jean-Antoine Houdon

Estimate £1000 - £1500 + fees

The Property of a Lady

After Jean-Antoine Houdon, (French 1741 ~ 1828), Le Baiser Donné and Le Baiser Rendu, a pair of patinated bronze bust groups of kissing couples; one a maiden and a young man, the other a nymph and a satyr; each atop a tapering square section and flower festooned plinth

21 and 20cm high respectively



A similar pair of bronzes is held at the Wallace Collection in London, and in their Catalogue of Sculpture JG Mann discusses the attribution to Houdon. Certainly an example in terracotta was sold in the sale of Houdon's property in 1795, and much later a pair in marble inscribed Houdon fecit 1778 and 1780 were sold at the Muhlbacher sale in 1889, but Houdon's signature was apparently easily and regularly faked. Other seemingly autograph works by the great sculptor have appeared from time to time, including an example in marble that was offered to and rejected by the Louvre in 1843; and another in marble that went unsold at Christie's London in 1922.

Another pair of bronze reductions of these models is held at the Royal Palace, Stockhom

Cf, JG Mann, Wallace Collection Catalogues, Sculpture, Spottiswoode Ballantyne Ltd, London, 1981, catalogue numbers S217 and S218, pp 79 and 80