DescriptionArturo Di Modica (American/Italian, b. 1941)
Charging Bull (Prototype for Wall Street Bull), 1988
Bronze with brown patina
14 inches (35.6 cm)
Inscribed on base with 'AD' seal: Modica 7/10
Leon Hariton, sculptor;
Estate of the above.
Before dawn on Friday, December 15, 1989, Arturo di Modica left a Christmas present for New Yorkers and an ailing Wall Street. Under the New York Stock Exchange holiday tree, he placed an eighteen-foot and three and one-half ton bronze sculpture. The Charging Bull was not only a symbol of hope for the return to a bull market, but also a larger gesture to celebrate the dynamic spirit of New York City.
Initially the Stock Exchange treated the overnight installation as a stunt and removed the bull to storage by the end of the day. The New York Post famously headlined, "Bah, Humbug N.Y. Grinches Can't Bear Christmas Gift Bull." Mayor Ed Koch and Parks Commissioner Henry Stern arranged for the gift to become a public monument at Bowling Green, where is still serves today as a Wall Street talisman.
As di Modica was solving the engineering feat of his monumental Wall Street Charging Bull figure, he made a series of ten maquette-size bulls to work out design, massing and foundry issues. The example offered here is from this early series and was purchased from di Modica in 1988 by his friend and fellow sculptor Leon Hariton (New York, 1920-2015). Hariton and di Modica first crossed paths working on bronze pours at the Domenico Ranieri Art Foundry in Manhattan, and they shared a decades-long friendship. This lot is the first of this important Charging Bull prototype series ever to be offered on the public auction market.
Exhibition of this sculpture begins Monday, November 27, 2017 at Heritage Auctions' New York Gallery, 445 Park Avenue (at 57th Street).
READ ABOUT THIS LOT IN FORBES: Wall Street Charging Bull Offered In Public Auction For First Time
Read the article here.
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