Antique Risque Bronze

By mwilcox


Risqué pieces like this can be found in every period of history, many items date back to antiquity, with examples being found in early tombs and archeological excavations of most world cultural sites. Mass production of them began to appear in the Victorian era, notably the last quarter of the 19th century, most like this tend to be of European origin, the major makers being Austria and France.

This one appears to be a late 1890s example, unsigned, but most likely French. Pieces like this are not generally produced in large numbers. Unless they carry a maker's mark, have been identified through provenance, or catalog of a particular maker, determining an origin is difficult. Bronze decorative arts items like this are generally left to develop a dark brown patina, or have one artificially applied as part of their design and polishing is not recommended. Unmarked examples like this one often go at auction for about $250.00, those by a listed artist can go for 10 times this amount.