Important Henry Kirke Brown (American, 1814-1886) bronze cabinet-size bust depicting the American attorney and statesman, Henry Clay Sr. of Kentucky (b.1777-d. 1852). Signed on the left back shoulder "H. K. Brown Sculptor Sept. 1852." 16 1/4" H x 9 1/2" W x 6" D. Note: This bronze bust, which descended to the present consignor from the estate of U.S. Senator John Marshall Butler of Maryland, was created by Brown three months after Clay's death. It is one of five Clay busts known to have been made by Brown. One, dated June 1852, the month of Clay's death, is in the collection of the Newark Museum; others with posthumous 1852 dates are in the collection of the U.S. Senate, The National Portrait Gallery, and the Special Collections of the University of Kentucky. These may have been commissioned by Clay supporters or produced by Brown in anticipation of demand for likenesses of the influential Senator following his demise. Clay represented Kentucky in both the House and Senate, serving as the seventh House Speaker and ninth Secretary of State. He was also a presidential candidate and helped found both the National Republican Party and the Whig Party. Artist biography: Born in Massachusetts, Henry Kirke Brown (1814-1886) displayed and early talent for portrait art and began with Chester Harding at the age of 18. During this period, he began modeling with clay and developed an interest in this medium. He subsequently worked as an engineer on Illinois' first railroad to earn enough money to study sculpture in Italy, where he spent four years. He returned to New York in 1846 and established a studio and small foundry. Brown was the creator of the first western themed bronze, "The Choosing of the Arrow" that was distributed by The American Art Union. In addition to western bronzes, Brown also created sculptures for the National Statuary Hall in the U. S. Capital Building and several notable equestrian statues including the one of George Washington in New York's Union Square. He became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1851. CONDITION: Overall very good condition with some small scattered spots of oxidation and very light minor wear or surface imperfections noted to the upper back shoulders, front lower left chest area and to the base.
Lot 131: Harriet Frishmuth Bronze Sculpture, The Star Previous Item Lot 133: Baltimore Framed Plaque or Trade Sign for Stonecutter Next Item