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President George Washington Bust / Sculpure by J. Ruhl

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Busted! - Heads of People of …87 of 105WWII BustAlabaster? Bust
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    Posted 3 years ago

    (109 items)

    Today, I found this nice statue, bust, or bookend of President George Washington

    The art piece stands about 5" high. Heavy weight: 1.75lbs with what appears to be a ceramic or marble base.
    Bottom has felt. The piece seems to be in very nice condition.

    Ivory colored bust / head, Black double-layer base, Bronze colored body

    Piece is incised on the back JRVHL or ("J RUHL").

    I have not found the sculpture of George Washington by this artist to compare it to.
    Any guess on the age? Is this Art Deco? Any info is welcome.

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    1. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 years ago
      This piece is very similar to the work done on bookends of Beethoven by Ruhl and made by the HB Hirsch foundry in New York which ceased around 1980 for the first time. A lot of their work was done after 1966 in which they used a lot of the molds they discovered in Paris after they uncovered the molds after the war. They also did a lot of their own original work there also. They made the heads using Ivorine, not ivory, but mainly plastic. This appears like some of their pieces. The Ency of Sculptors specifically says of these pieces, " These small art nouveau, art deco and "assemblages" are cast from pure spelter (99.97% zinc ), (sometimes called French Bronze) which is often misleading to collectors. Plastic "ivorine" is employed to enhance some of the collection's work."

      I have a large collection of work by this foundry, so am very familiar with their often outstanding work. The author of the Ency of Bronzes also was a big fan of their work. Some think the pieces date from the 20's to 30 or so, but really never seen a pair that was made before the wars. These pieces were mainly constructed after the second world war, about 1947, which is why you see so many in great condition. On ebay the date is guessed here as 1932, but you would not see this condition if pre war :
    2. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 years ago
      I see the bookends are marked as 1932, but I think a little more pessimistic about the date, so I could be wrong. I just know a lot more were produced after the war and into the 70's also, otherwise they would not be in the "Collection Francais", seal #81. The Encyclopedia of Bronzes worked closely with the JB Hirsch foundry and details much of their work. The bookends were dated 1932 but made later. Too many of them like I said in like new condition.
    3. sunnynature22 sunnynature22, 3 years ago
      Amazing information, Phil.
      I looked online for another George Washington by Ruhl, but I have not found any of the president. Perhaps he was a limited edition.
      Thanks for the feedback!

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