Lionesses Art Deco Bookends by Rodger Godchaux
Item #2753 SOLD
A pair of metal lionesses on metal plates by Rodger Godchaux. Extremely rare and interesting with beautiful original patina. Circa 1930. Each bookend is rendered with a lion depicting two unique postures. These bookends usually appear in bronze or wood but sometimes marble or metal, the artistry and sculpted like quality in the finished product. If in bronze these bookends have sold in auctions for as much as $10,000.
Roger GODCHAUX (1878-1958)
Laves his hometown of Vendôme, to study at the ‘École des Beaux-Arts in Paris’. Student of Adler and Jean Léon Gérôme, he joins the latter’s studio in 1897. Being a great admirer of Barye’s Work, he promptly becomes passionate with animal sculptures. In 1905, his artworks are exhibited for the first time at the French Artists Salon. Like many of his contemporaries, Roger Godchaux regularly visited the Jardin des Plantes. However, like Georges-Lucien Guyot or Paul Jouve, he is relatively unaffected by the new stylization initiated by the likes of François Pompon and Charles Artus.
In the 1920s, Godchaux’s Work takes on a whole new direction upon his discovery of “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling, which would then become a major source of inspiration for the artist. As Paul Jouve brings the books’ exotic beasts to life, Godchaux gives them charisma by creating sculptures such as the “Elephant with Tiger”, “Elephant and his Mahout”, “Tomaï” and the “Return of the Hunt”. Although Godchaux’s bestiary is very diverse, he soon becomes the leading sculptor of the elephant, it’s an animal that is very difficult to represent and thus neglected by the majority of Godchaux’s contemporaries.
During the 1925 International Decorative Arts Exhibition, Godchaux is awarded a silver medal, two years later, he wins a contest organized by car manufacturer Chenard & Walker; seeking a new emblem for their cars. In 1928, he becomes Treasurer of the “Animaliers” group, of which he has been a regular exhibitor since 1920. In 1928 he sells his first art piece, an elephant, to the French State. Several other purchases will then follow between 1929 and 1953. Over that period, the Newark Museum (USA) also acquires two of his works. Roger Godchaux then starts to cooperate with the ‘Manufacture de Sèvres’ and signs a contract with them for the sandstone editions of his sculptures. Godchuaux’s work is filled with great tenderness, observant attention to detail and yet strong veracity towards attitudes and volumes. These qualities brought him fame and adoration amongst collectors during his lifetime. The aura of passion and interest surrounding his work remains prevalent amongst art appreciators today.
6.5″ T x 7″ W x 4.6″ D