I recently purchased the bronze and limestone sculpture shown in the attached photos. I really like it, but despite a lot of searching on the internet I haven’t been able to find any information about it or the artist.
It is kind of a mystery and I have only a few clues. A few weeks ago on a whim I decided to walk through our large local Antique Mall. I didn’t find anything of much interest on any of the three floors, but as I was retracing my steps back to the front door I spotted something on the floor peeking out behind a small chest.
At first I thought it was some kind of little campfire cooking set. Then I saw that it was made of bronze and realized it was a sculpture. The price tag on it said “Museum Piece”. I asked the manager if he knew the artist. He laughed and said, “I thought that was for melting lead to make fishing sinkers”.
We took it to the front counter and using a magnifying glass we could make out the name “Phil Johnson 86” etched in tiny script on the bottom of the crucible. I decided to buy it and made an offer. The manager called the person whose booth the piece was in to give my offer, but got an answering machine with an outgoing message in French.
Later that day the manager called and said the seller had accepted my offer. The seller, whose name I never got, told the manager that he was selling it for a friend who, “collected up and coming artists and that it came from a contemporary art museum in Chicago”. That’s all I know.
So, I hope some of the knowledgeable members of this site can recognize the name or the style of the artist and can fill me in. Even if you can’t, I would be interested in your comments about or your interpretation of the piece.
Sorry this post is so long.