View Full Version : Need Serious Advice
01-06-2006, 12:57 PM
I have a Bronze Sculptor, called " End Of The Trail", by James Earle Fraser. When I bought it, its appraisal value was $16,000. I want to sell it now thought and I need to know the best places I can go to or locate where I can sell the piece. Any recommendations will be appreciated.
01-06-2006, 04:18 PM
Omar - Fraser is an excellent sculptor, and this probably is his most popular piece, but I have no idea of the current value or where to get the hightest bid. You might try the web bid sites.
What is the size of your piece, and do you know if it is one of his authenticated casts? Many, many unauthorized copies of his works exist.
01-07-2006, 10:55 AM
I'm curious about a few things: (1) How long have you owned this sculpture? (2) Who appraised the sculpture's value at $16,000
or was that the price of purchase?
01-08-2006, 03:28 PM
I saw a copy in a museum once
poorly lit inside a glass case
guard got antsy while I moved my flashlight around the case highlighting shadow and depth
well worth the effort
it had soul
01-08-2006, 05:43 PM
I did a little look, it seems there's quite a story about this sculpture but it was originally a monumental sized work done in plaster for a 1915 exposition.
After the expo ended, the plaster sculpture along with many others were taken to the DUMP at the fairgrounds.
Long story short, apparantly the plaster sculpture sat out in the weather for many years rotting away, vandals having carved their initials on it etc.
In 1917 it was moved to Visalia and:
"...When it arrived, the terrible condition of the statue discouraged plans for restoration and once more the great work languished in a forgotten corner, this time in Visalia's Mooney Grove Park.
Months later, galvanized by an editorial in the Visalia Times, which castigated the town fathers for allowing the famous sculpture to further deterioate, action was taken to recondition the work and put it in place. And there, in Mooney Grove Park, "The End of the Trail" stood for almost fifty years, subject to harsh weather, withstanding earthquakes, prey to vandals who carved initials on its plaster surface. Indeed, it seemed no one cared about the disconsolate Indian on his crumbling pony. "
It was restored, molded and then cast in bronze, the bronze returned to California and Visalia kept the plaster now housed indoors.
Okay, so what I don't understand is, HOW did this plaster sculpture survive even TWO years out in the weather let alone FIFTY??
One other thought comes to mind too, if the plaster was in that bad condition and restored, there couldn't have been much left of the original, so most of it aside from the basic form is little more than a contemporary rendition, and one of how the original MAY have looked.
I don't know if our chap here has an original bronze or not, it might very well be just a reduced sized reproduction cast by someone else maybe in the 30's or 40's??
If you search for Mene' Barye and other famous names you find a plethora of reproductions, replicas, knock-offs and copies, some old some newer and others sold as new. The problem lay in telling for certain WHEN a cast was made and by whom. A bronze made in 1930 knocking off Fraser's work in reduced sized, with his "signature" on the base looks old enough to be an original but the "signature" on the base is reproduced right along with everything else when making molds or reductions, so a signature doesn't guarantee the artist actually made that.
That above URL goes to a site selling bronze casts, they have at least 8 different sizes of this sculpture from a few inches to monumental and heroic, "Mexico" is stated on one of the sizes and they claim a copyright too which is rather curious, so I'm sure this has been knocked off to death by many over the decades and it could be extremely difficult to know what you have or to convince a buyer it's not a knockoff from 1950 or something;
END OF THE TRAIL
by James Fraser
(A)31.5"H x 26"L - $3175.00
(B)24.5"H x 15"L-$1075.00
USA-Copyright by SF.
END OF THE TRAIL
by James Earle Fraser
Mini:7.5 x 7" x 3.5" - $250.00
Small:14" x 10" x 6" - $495.00
Med.:18" - $715.00
Large:31" x25" x8" - $1870.00
END OF THE TRAIL
by James Fraser
Heroic: 91" x 84" - $12500.00
Monumental: 53" x 51" - $3075.00
I find more on Ebay, one for $90.00
Funny thing is, the seller's web site has scads of the same bronzes by Russell, Mene, Remington, Rodin and all the usually grossly knocked off stuff that often sells for under $200, which more often than not seem to have the quality you get when making a cast of a cast of a cast.
Their selling page says this in part;
Our bronze sculptures are not copies of copies.
You will not find this type of reproduction anywhere else. All our bronze sculptures are hand made 100% solid bronze. They are not mass produced by machinery. This allows for even a more detailed bronze statue.
Don't be fooled by others selling poor quality copies of copies that are mass produced and imported from outside the country. We have heard horror stories about our competitors using our name and pictures to sell Asian imported or poor reproduced bronze statues.
All our bronze statues are made here in the USA and 100% solid bronze."
Oh? wanna bet? I can find half a dozen other dealers who have most of the exact SAME bronzes, Russell's "Wolf With Bone", Remington's horse series, the same bronzes originally by Mene and other names who made hunting dogs, Greyhounds, and Fraser's "End of the trail" too.
He claims all these bronzes are made in the USA, then how can he sell this for only $129.95 AND with FREE shipping included??
mini Size: 9 inches by 9 inches, James Fraser Bronze Statue (http://store.worldbronzes.com/misi9inby9in.html)
http://us.st1.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/Img/trans_1x1.gif0392http://us.st1.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/Img/trans_1x1.gifRetail price: $140.00http://us.st1.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/Img/trans_1x1.gif
Winter Special : $129.95
Or this also with free shipping;
Size: 53 inches by 51 inches, James Fraser Bronze Statue (http://store.worldbronzes.com/si53inby51in.html)
0396Retail price: $4,000.00http://us.st1.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/Img/trans_1x1.gif
Winter Special : $2,999.00http://us.st1.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/Img/trans_1x1.gif
Anyone else see a bigtime liar?
Another issue is, the public sees this stuff and then they want to know why YOUR bronze costs so much more!
01-08-2008, 11:05 AM
Hello. I'm new here. I have a question regarding Fraser's "End of the Trail" sculptures. I have looked, from time to time, for an "End of the Trail" sculpture, for table-top display. I love this piece, but I am confused. There seem to be different "versions" (different molds or castings?) available. On some, the rider is more hunched over; on some, his braids hang directly down, while on another the braids will hang more to the front.
Does anyone know why this is? I'd like to purchase a sculpture that is true in detail to the original casting -- not someone's loose interpretation.
01-11-2008, 07:14 PM
Landseer gave a pretty good summation of the situation above. Fraser wasn't able financially to cast the (large) piece in bronze himself, and probably NONE of the smaller bronzes are his originals either.
If you like the piece, and I like it very much, just buy a good copy, after close examination, and know he inspired the composition, but it's not really by him.
And, I just remembered, I saw an excellent cast in Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, about 1965. That collection was financed by a millionaire railroad couple over the period about 1880 - 1930, and their version probably is as close to the "original" as it is possible to get. It may actually be a version approved by Fraser or his widow personally. Look for a BG publication. Some have pictures of this sculpture.
02-16-2008, 07:46 PM
In regard to the larger the James Earl Fraser plaster that was on display at the 1915 expo. Please remember that all the sculptures and facades of buildings at these expos (1893- 1920's) were made out of "Staff" Material, also called "Artificial Travertine". This consisted of plaster, jute and concrete. They were painted with lead paint. So it is possible that the large sculpture by Fraser if it still exists in the museum above could have lasted much longer than a simple plaster cast in the elements.
This may explain it's longevity of the work.
It is sad that many of these heroic pieces were destroyed after the exhibits. There are numerous books published about the half a dozen or so American expositions. Definitely worth the read. It was the high point of American figurative sculpture, and unfortunately there are few who know about it.
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