This antique bronze is a French piece, dating from about 1900, it's stamped Bronze Garanti*, which indicates the piece is solid bronze, but it should be noted such marks are no guarantee of authenticity or age, as there is speculation that the Bronze Garanti mark has also been found on some Chinese reproductions of French originals. The piece is also marked with the artist's name, M. Gamboge, but there appears to be no biographical information on this artist.
This figure is often found missing its pickaxe, which was cast as a separate piece, the loss of which often goes unnoticed until after the sale and can cut its value a great deal. French bronzes were scaled down versions of full sized sculptures by well known artists, cast either with or without the Artist's permission. In some cases the design altered enough to get around lawsuits, or produced after the Artists death. Bronze figures like this are often treated chemically to give it an aged patina. This discoloration is part of the design, no attempt should be made to polish such pieces. Shining them up will destroy a great deal of the value of patinated bronzes. In the current market a comparable piece to this one would sell at auction in the $300.00- $600.00 range.