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Art Mystery of the Moment III - Unknown Sculpture

March 08, 2016

Art Mystery of the Moment III with RoofTop Antiques


Some of our followers enjoy a good artwork mystery, so I have officially made Art Mystery of the Moment a regular part of the blog. When a moment arises, as one did today, I will share a piece of art that has simply left the RoofTop Antiques crew bewildered. You can find our first mystery (which still remains unsolved) here. Our second mystery, which we gleefully solved within one day, can be viewed here. Our state of wonder usually finds its origin where lies the signature. This case is no exception.

Vintage Bust Sculpture

We obtained this piece from an auction in Columbia, Missouri. The auction liquidated the items in a downtown home near the University of Missouri. The home was a gorgeous, Mid-Century Modern style gem. It had been adequately stocked with some of the best Mid-Century furniture in existence. It was also equip with genuine antiques and a collection of artwork, in the form of paintings, prints and sculptures, from many well-known artists. Among the collections was this 13" tall head on a base.

Vintage Bust Sculpture
We brought the head home and he has watched us move about for the past two months. He emerged from his post today and took up watch on my mom's desk, where we attempted to trace his origin. The sculpture does have a marking on the back which looks like "SC" followed by the copyright symbol. We have deduced that this marking is often used to represent the Latin word "sculpsit" meaning sculpted by. This symbol is usually followed by the name of the artist. In this case, we see no name or additional markings.

SC Marking

We are left, once again, scratching our own heads and making partially educated guesses. We have decided that the sculpture is composed of some kind of stone or marble which has been made to look like bronze. This conclusion was drawn after seeing a few tiny chips around the hole where the head attaches to the base, revealing a gray (with a bit of sparkle) material beneath the finish.

Bottom of sculpture where base post is inserted

Is this some historical figure that we are failing to recognize? Is the artist someone well known, or is this simply a reproduction of an original piece of artwork?

What do you think? Do you see any clues I may be missing? Jump over to our Facebook page to share your thoughts, or feel free to comment below.

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