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    Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)
    Mountain Mother, 1919
    Bronze with brown patina
    7.5 inches (19 cm) high
    Inscribed on base with artist symbol: CM Russell / 19

    Collection of Homer Britzman;
    Richard Britzman, by descent from the above.

    R. Stewart, Charles M. Russell: Sculptor, New York, 1994, pp. 291-94, another example illustrated.

    Master artist of the Old West, Charles Marion Russell brought to life jaw-dropping scenes of cowboys, Indians, and frontier life not only in paintings, but in sculpture. As a boy in Missouri, he made clay figures of animals, a practice that evolved into his shaping detailed and expressive sculptures in wax, plaster, and bronze. His figural subjects ranged from dramatic Indian buffalo hunts and bronco riders, to distinguished portraits of Navajo and Blackfeet leaders, to caricatures of saloon cowboys. Russell also produced in wildlife sculpture and memorialized in bronze many of the West's endangered species, including bison, mountain sheep, and grizzly bears.

    An especially popular and endearing Russell sculpture, Mountain Mother exhibits his fondness for bears in this grouping of a mother bear gazing protectively over her shoulder at her two romping cubs. Originally produced by Roman Bronze Works in 1919, Mountain Mother was one of a few models that Russell designed with the intent to be cast in bronze. In 1941, collector C.R. Smith purchased one bronze and three plaster models of Mountain Mother from Russell's wife, Nancy Russell. Smith then sold them to Homer Britzman. In 1942, Britzman arranged to have the Nelli Art Bronze Works cast as many as seven Mountain Mother bronzes (there were approximately nine lifetime casts). Three bronze casts remained in Britzman's estate in 1954: an "old casting" (possibly California Art Bronze Foundry, made during Nancy Russell's lifetime) and two "new castings" (Nelli Art Bronze Works copies). Although the present work does not retain a foundry mark, It is thought that this bronze may be one of the "new castings" that was cast for Britzman's personal collection.

    We are grateful to Rick Stewart for his assistance in cataloging this work.

    More information about Charles Marion Russell, also known as Russell, Charles Marion, Russell, Charles.

    Condition Report*: Sculpture's full measurements are 7.5 x 14.5 x 6 inches; there appears to be rubbing in areas of high relief.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2016
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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