Bronze Art Deco Egyptian Dancer Signed Chiparus Sculpture

This example is a new bronze fantasy of a dancer clad in Egyptian-style garments that is much like the svelte lady sculptures created by that Art Deco period master artist, Demetre Haralamb Chiparus. The base appears to bear the signature of 'D.H. Chiparus' - but this is not a period piece ever personally touched by that artist, much less made 'by' him.

Quite rightly original Chiparus works sell for many thousands of dollars today. So, the first thing you should ask yourself when presented with an item such as this that is being sold for a modest price (anything less that $10,000 would be extremely modest) would be, how could someone (anyone) not be aware of the actual value of an authentic Chiparus piece, with the advent of easy online keyword searches?

Next, look at areas on the piece where fine detail would be expected to be present on one of his original sculptures. An original made by the artist would exhibit very fine details like finely formed fingers on which even the fingernails can be discerned or individual strands of hair. Basically his dancers should appear to be real, live women in miniature that are divinely shaped, exacting in their realism and frozen in a moment of actual movement.

This statue is permanently attached to a rather plain, black marble plinth the size of which is inadequate for proper scale, in relation to the size of the piece it supports. The plinth does not have the appearance of any style that would be characteristic of the Art Deco period. Yet the plinth on which one of his sculptures was to rest was never a simple decorative base. They were designed and joined in such a way as to allow them the ability to incorporate and represent part of the overall look of a statue. Look for shapes evocative of the Art Deco era as well as colors and types of stone intermingled. And always the size of a plinth is 'just right.' It should never look too useless in size to be able to support the weight or shape of a sculpture safely, nor should it be so large that it overpowers the primary element it supports.

The combination of gold, ivory and bronze known as chryselephantine was the medium in which Chiparus often masterfully expressed his art, and in reference to Art Deco period art objects it has become almost synonymous with his name. Look for patina (this example has none). Expect to find only resin or plastic used in elements of modern-made designs where Chiparus would originally have employed real ivory. This artist also tended to work with established French foundries. Two in particular. So, an authentic work can be expected to bear a vintage foundry mark, not just his name. Some will also be marked 'Made in France.'

Many modern companies are currently reproducing Chiparus designs or simply attaching his name to decorative items that look like they could have been made by him, though they are not his original designs, at all. D.H Chiparus in fact had nothing to do with the creation of the particular sculpture illustrated in this listing.

With the stand the bronze measures 20 inches (51 cm) high and the marble stand is square 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches (13 cm) by (13 cm ), but other sizes no doubt may exist.

Item ID: 2007RP000117

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies

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