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The Hammer Worker by Anton van Wouw

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Artist: Anton van Wouw

A fine example of this small bronze work by Anton van Wouw, 1911. 

There are two versions of this small sculpture, a large version being 600 mm high and this smaller production, which is 135 mm high. The larger version is rare, its price always exceptionally high, even during the artist’s lifetime. A.E. Duffy in his work, Anton van Wouw, The Smaller Works, suggest that it is for this reason that the smaller version was issued in bronze at the same time. It is also interesting to note that the unsigned casting offered here is better than most and perhaps as good as the larger Nisini casting held at the Pretoria Art Museum. The other smaller versions studied have been identified as being cast at the Massa Foundry in Rome. Professor Dr. Alexander Duffey, notes that there are many differences in the finer details of the best Roman castings, citing clear and accurate rendering of the cord of the water bottle, the rockface, the string around the miner’s left ankle and the detail of the candle lighting the miner’s work.

The quality of the work to the miner himself is exceptional and the casting makes a clear distinction between the texture of the worker’s skin and his loincloth and the rockface. His hair is sharply detailed and it is clear that this is a version of the miner with ‘rough moustache and a thin beard’. The fine light brown patina adds to the sharp contrast between the texture of the miner and the rockface and floor of the mineshaft.

Mounted on a green marble base, rough hewn to resonate with the rockface of the sculpture. Unsigned; the foundry unidentified.    

Total height 5 5/8 in x 6 ¼ in x 3 ½ in   



Item Code: 5114

£ 9500

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