SOLD! for $10,836.00.
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- High Estimate: $7,000.00
- Realized: $10,836.00
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Bust of Kentucky statesman Henry Clay (1777-1852) by Ferdinand Pettrich (German/American, 1798-1872). Life-sized cast-iron bust, plate verso with the name of sculptor and date of 1842 (the year Clay retired from the U.S. Senate and returned home to Kentucky; in 1844, Clay was nominated as the Whig party Presidential candidate). 22″H x 15″W. Biography: German-born Ferdinand Pettrich trained in the studio of his father in Dresden, before traveling to Rome to study under the famous Danish sculptor Thorwaldsen. He came to America, where he spent considerable time in Washington D.C. from 1835-1843 seeking commissions for his work. Many of his subjects were American politicians of the day. Pettrich resided in Georgetown with his wife and three children and rented a studio in an abandoned church. In an 1838 letter of a patron of Pettrich, the sculptor appealed for help because of the illness of one of his children. The patron stated Pettrich had requested Henry Clay sit for a bust and Clay had responded with a favorable reply (p. 398 Ferdinand Pettrich in America by R. L. Stehle). Some of Pettrich’s notable sculpture commissions included “Washington Resigning His Commission” and “Dying Tecumseh”. He also executed busts of Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson. In May of 1842, two assassins entered Pettrich’s studio and stabbed him twice. Shortly thereafter, Pettrich and his family moved to Brazil and he became the court sculptor for Emperor Dom Pedro II, carving monumental sculptures of the monarch and his cabinet officials before returning to Europe. Note: A similar plaster bust is featured in the book “Franz and Ferdinand Pettrich: Two Saxon Sculptors from the Period of Classicism” by Hans Geller, Dresden: Wolfgang Jess, 1955, see page 128, image #66. Provenance – Lexington, Kentucky area collection. Condition: Overall oxidation and light pitting as the much of the original bronzed surface has been lost. CONDITION: Overall oxidation and light pitting as much of the original bronzed surface has been lost.