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Spelter, The Great Pretender

by Mike Wilcox (09/04/08).

Spelter figurines and busts of this type were produced in great numbers during the late 19th Century, most were based on Greek and Roman Classical works or originals of famous 19th Century sculptors. The spelter examples were made as an inexpensive option to the expensive bronze examples produced by noted artists such as Frederic Remington, Auguste Rodin, P.J. Mene and A.L. Barye for the fine art market. Generally the spelter examples were given a bronze patina finish to make them appear as the more expensive bronze examples. The faux bronze finishes on these pieces have not proven to be very durable, either wearing off or removed in a misguided attempt to improve the figure’s appearance. Values for these spelter figures and busts varies a great deal, depending on size, subject matter and condition.

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