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Re: [TheFaceOfBach] Carl Seffner 1895 bronze bust of Bach on display in New York through May 16

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  • Rachel T. Greenwald
    Fantastic. I can t believe how convincing the bust is. If only I had $65,000 :) Thanks for the tip. Rachel ... Fantastic. I can t believe how convincing the
    Message 1 of 2 , May 16, 2007
      Fantastic. I can't believe how convincing the bust is.

      If only I had $65,000 :)

      Thanks for the tip.


      On 5/11/07, TeriNoelTowe@... <TeriNoelTowe@...> wrote:

      What almost certainly is Carl Seffner's own exemplar of the portrait bust of Johann Sebastian Bach that he sculpted in 1895 over a cast of Bach's skull is currently on exhibit in the booth of the prominent Paris art dealer Martin du Louvre, at the International Fine Arts Fair that currently is being held at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 66th Street, in New York City.

      Here is the description of the bust that was provided to me by John Paul Bogart, of Martin du Louvre:

      The bust is life-sized. It is a bronze of wonderful quality – a nervous surface and magnificently chased and patinated. It is a cire perdue (I mistakenly thought it was a sandcast at first, until I took a good look at it underneath). It is signed and dated 'Seffner 1895' , but Bach's name is not engraved on the plinth.  

      I am assuming that this bronze is an atelier version of the sculpture which Seffner wished to preserve for himself in a durable medium. If it had been done for anyone other than the sculptor, Bach's name would undoubtedly been engraved on the front.   

      The bust was purchased in the forties by its former owner directly from Seffner's heirs, and the superb quality and particular characteristics of the work confirms this provenance to me. Cire perdue was a hideously expensive process in the early 20th century, reserved for important works or special commissions – not for mass diffusion. I do not know how many of the commercial plasters Breitkopf and Härtel made, but there can't have been very many. If so, they would have turned up at auctions, and they don't. In any event, it is clear that the two works that have been proposed to us have nothing to do with a commercial edition, and so they are clearly rare.   

      The International Fine Art Fair continues through Wednesday at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue, at 67th Street. Hours: daily, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

      I, for one, do not intend to miss the opportunity to see this remarkable sculpture.

      My best and my thanks always,

      Teri Noel Towe

      The Face Of Bach

      "Those in charge are odd and ambivalent towards music, which means I have to live with almost non-stop vexation, envy, and persecution."

      Johann Sebastian Bach, October 28, 1730

      See what's free at http://www.aol.com.

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