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Why did this statue sell for so much?

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So I bought a Wakizashi at an online estate sale auction the other day and they had the below statue for sale as well. The estimated value was less than $1,000 but it ended up selling for $13,000!

This just got me curious at why it was so valuable. I primarily collect Nihonto but this got me thinking about expanding a little. Anyone know what's so special about this statue?
Thanks!

Japanese Meiji Bronze Grouping

Japanese Meiji Bronze Grouping
Japanese Meiji Bronze Grouping

Japanese Meiji Bronze Grouping

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Good Morning Jonathan,

 

The trite answer is because one person wanted it more than another at the auction..... but that doesn't help really. 😀

 

So let's look at the item closely, and why it might command such a price.

 

Signed 19th and early 20th Century Figurative Japanese Bronzes are currently highly sought after.

 

The example shown, which depicts Yoshitsune & Benkei in their encounter on Gojo Bridge, looks to be well designed, crisply cast, of a reasonable size, and complete with its original stand.

 

I have reservations about the Signature cartouche, it seems less well executed than the rest of the piece, and I'm dubious about the cross hatching around it.

 

Here's a list of recent sales of Japanese Bronzes and percentagewise how much they exceeded estimate:

 

https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/japanese_bronze_signatures.html

 

With some TLC, I would not be surprised to encounter this again, at a major Fair or in a Gallery at a price considerably in excess of its hammer price.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi Ken, at the bigger Fairs in the UK before lockdown 1, the larger figural pieces were “enthusiastically priced” to say the least.

 

It seems to be the larger more dynamic compositions, that are fetching serious prices.

 

Certainly in the UK, there seems to be a trend of mixing old and new in Interior Decoration.

 

These back issues of Bonhams Magazine should show the trends more clearly:

 

https://www.bonhams.com/publications/bonhams_magazine/30691/

 

https://www.bonhams.com/publications/bonhams_magazine/

 

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Bronze castings have a whole set of rules that determine the range expected by any specific piece. EG., date cast, including if contemporary to the artists life, size, some sizes command a premium, artist ID, what foundry, subject matter, patina, number of castings made (limited-moulds broken). All that and the critical thing, is it especially worthy of merit. John

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Wow cool. I had no idea there was such a market for bronze castings. Ill have to keep my eye out for these. 

Also cool story about Yoshitsune & Benkei. Never heard that one before.

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