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Unique & Stunning 1929 Bronze Art Deco Vanity Hood Ornament (signed & dated)

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    Posted 6 years ago

    (40 items)

    This is the first, and only, hood ornament I've ever bought, but as soon as I saw it I just knew I "had" to have it...!

    The maker's name (looks like it was written backwards/upside down or perhaps the letters scrambled?) appears to be something like "Yoylur" (??), the foundry is "Louis Godard", and it's dated 1929- all inscribed in the bronze. You can see part of the foundry name in the first pic and part of the artist's name and "192" of the 1929 in the third pic, but I'm limited to 4 photos and can't add a close-up.
    I would assume that it's French though I bought it in Belgium. It measures 6 1/4 inches high, and it's very heavy.
    On the base there appears to be a hare and a fox (?), and it's in fantastic fully original unrestored condition.
    I've done a thorough internet search to no avail, except that I've been made aware of the possibility that this is almost certainly a one-of-a-kind "vanity" ornament commissioned by a (very) wealthy automobile enthusiast. Indeed, it doesn't seem logical that anyone else would have wanted to have the bust of a stranger, striking as it may be, on their own car.

    Thanks for looking!

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    1. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      I can only find that they sold it at Deconamic, an art deco site in belgium. I have never seen anything of this before so it may have been a one of. I emailed a couple of the worlds #1 collectors who may know something. Very nice mascot !~
    2. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago
      Hi Phil,

      That's where I bought it...!
      Thank you SO much for emailing several big collectors as I would LOVE to have more info on this. I emailed one (with pics) that I found on the internet but he never even bothered to reply. I also tried the Mullin Automotive Museum (they specialize in pre-war French Art Deco automobiles), but all they were able to tell me was that this is indeed almost certainly a one-of-a-kind "vanity" hood ornament, and they called it "a remarkable piece of automotive history".
      Thanks again for trying to find some info about this- much appreciated!
    3. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
    4. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      One of the biggest collectors in France only speaks french so it can be hard to communicate with him. I have found only one mascot so far that I know is a one of but of course could find no information which is normal. This piece looks like it was made for one gentleman in particular who wanted the most striking mascot of himself for his car. Just love this piece.
    5. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago
      Thanks Sean68...!

      Phil, I have a GREAT tip for you. There's a FREE website that I've used many
      times that translates your text into about 50 languages! You just choose which
      option (for me mostly English to French), and....voila! Then I simply copy & paste
      the translated text to my email. The site is:

      Yes, I am 99.9% certain that this was designed and produced for one (very wealthy) gentleman. It would be wonderful to know who that was, and what (fabulous) car it was on, but I don't think it will be easy to ever find out for the simple fact that it's one-of-a-kind...

    6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      STUNNING !!!!

      Can I read 'Fondeur' ???
    7. inky inky, 6 years ago
      Fantastic!!.. can understand why you want this, very strong it!..:-)
    8. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago

      Yep, right in front of "foundry" is inscribed "Louis Godard", and thanks for the love!

      Ditto, inky...!

    9. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      I do use free translation, but it does not sit well with a lot of french people, as it really loses a lot in the translation !!
    10. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago

      I hear ya- I've tested it a few times by translating my English into French, then copying & pasting THAT French back into English, and sometimes it's a bit iffy.
      However, it's usually clear enough to get the point(s) across, and a helluva lot easier, and cheaper, than taking French lessons...; - )

    11. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      I got replies from both experts. Both think it is not a mascot but instead a bust, a work of art. However the size is right for a mascot. For a mascot there is too much written on it, even one ofs had very little to nothing written on them. I still think it is an amazing piece, so cool !!~
    12. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago

      Well, I would say that pic of the bottom (last pic) clearly shows that it WAS a hood/radiator ornament (no other explanation for it!), and the size is perfect for a hood ornament but way too small for a bust. What's more the Mullin Automotive museum, that actually specializes in pre-1930 French Art Deco autos, didn't doubt for a moment that it's a hood ornament, and confirmed that it's a one-of-a-kind personalized "vanity" ornament commissioned specifically in the likeness of the (rich!) owner. That's also why it is signed by the artist/sculptor, the foundry and is dated (1929).
      I'm kinda surprised that some "expert" had trouble recognizing this, because there were other personalized vanity hood ornaments commissioned by wealthy car owners during that period...
      during the 1920's and 1930's- this isn't the only one by any means)
    13. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      There were three Godard brothers who worked in Paris : Désiré, Louis and Florentin.

      Louis Godard (1888-1959)," installé 15 rue de Pixérécourt, dont on ne connait quasiment rien. "

    14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      I found another one (?) here in an auction:
    15. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      I saw one of the Decomanic photos .... could the signature be in Greek ???
    16. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago

      WOW, you really know you way around the internet- thanks!
      Now I know more about that foundry, which is a piece of the puzzle.
      That must surely be the SAME one you found at auction- which was won by
      Deconamic. No idea for how much, but I'd say for considerably higher than that absurdly low "estimate". If not, then they made a terrific profit- which is fine by me!
      Nah, doesn't look like Greek. Looks, to me at least, like upside down & backwards and probably scrambled to boot. I heard that they sometimes did that to avoid paying taxes (LOL).
      Thanks again for your first-class investigative work- impressive!

    17. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Sorry to tell you what they said. I had asked 2 of the biggest collectors in the world who started in the 80's. Michel Grand even said the same. Between both, they have produced around 20 books. I, myself still think there is a good theory that it was a hood ornament.
    18. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago
      Hey Phil,

      No need to be sorry for what they told you at all- I just think it's kinda amusing how "experts" (in all fields) can sometimes say silly things when they don't have clear-cut answers! I could give you countless examples, but I think that most folks know exactly what I mean...; - )

      As for this particular hood ornament, not only is it the perfect size (and WAAAY too small for a "bust"), but the wear on the bottom (and bolt hole!) is quite obviously from having been mounted on a car! What's more, the depiction of a hare and a greyhound (the seller called in a fox but it actually looks a lot more like a greyhound) CLEARLY symbolize SPEED. And finally, the experts at the Mullin Automotive Museum, who have a spectacular collection of the world's most magnificent 1920's and 1930's French Art Deco cars (many of these worth millions on their own!) didn't have a shadow of a doubt that this was a "remarkable" one-of-a-kind vanity hood ornament.
      Looks like you and I both ALSO have a better understanding of this hood ornament than those experts- no matter HOW many books they wrote...

    19. Hyp-storian, 6 years ago

      P.S. I forgot to mention the (obviously) windswept HAIR....!
      ; - )

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