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    Henry Merwin Shrady (1871-1922)
    Monarch of the Plains, 1899
    Bronze with brown patina
    13-1/2 inches (34.3 cm) high
    Inscribed on base: Henry Merwin Shrady / Copyright 1899 / Theodore B. Starr

    Private collection, New York, by 1967;
    By descent to the present owner, 2008.

    L. Taft, The History of American Sculpture, New York, 1924, pp. 483-84;
    P.J. Broder, Bronzes of the American West, New York, 1974, pp. 241-43, pl. 360, another example illustrated.

    A self-taught artist, Henry Merwin Shrady ranks among the most important wildlife sculptors in America. With a tremendous understanding of anatomy and clay modeling that he inherited from his father, Shrady abandoned his studies in law and turned his attention toward sketching. He often made trips to the Bronx Zoo, in New York completing various studies of animals, several of which would influence his most iconic sculptures, Monarch of the Plains (Elk Buffalo), executed in 1899, and Bull Moose in 1900. These sketches caught the attention of Theodore B. Starr, an entrepreneur and jeweler, who commissioned and copyrighted bronzes to sell out of his shop. According to the National Gallery of Art, "these were some of the very first American bronzes to be cast by the lost wax method, pioneered in the United States by Riccardo Bertelli at his new firm of Roman Bronze Works in Brooklyn in the late 1880s." Frederic Remington, friend and admirer of Shrady's work, purchased Monarch of the Plains and noted in his diary, "'Buffalo'... best art object I have." (September 29, 1908) Shrady's worked garnered so much attention that he was commissioned to create monumental scale models of Bull Moose and Monarch of the Plains in plaster for the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. In 1902, he was awarded a $250,000 commission to work on the Grant Memorial in Washington, D.C., which took him 20 years to complete. Sadly, Shrady died two weeks prior to the public unveiling of the sculpture, leaving behind his legacy and monumental gift to America.

    More information about Shrady, Henry Merwin, also known as Shrady, Henry, Henry Mervin Shrady.

    Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000.

    Condition Report*: Presents very well. Some rubbing with associated patina loss to lowest edge of base, commensurate with handling over time. Dust accumulation in the recesses with a very few areas of minor verdigris accumulation. Otherwise there appear to be no major condition issues affecting the work.
    *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

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