Lot 77
  • 77

A French articulated artist's model of a horse and rider circa 1880

30,000 - 40,000 USD
27,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • A French articulated artist's Model of a horse and rider
  • walnut, articulated throughout, the horse's neck formed of leather; on an adjustable stand of iron and wood base
  • overall 20 by 36 in.
  • 50.8 by 91.4 cm
walnut, articulated throughout, the horse's neck formed of leather; on the original, adjustable stand of iron and wood base; the rider stamped with maker's mark inscribed MAQUETTE FRANÇAISE SUR AMATURE ARTICULÉE PARIS, B


Private Collection, United Kingdom (by circa 1960)
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Wooden mannequins have been an ever-present element in artist’s studios since at least the Renaissance, found in the ateliers of Michelangelo, Titian, Gustave Courbet and Alfred James Munnings among countless others. These obliging and indefatigable models were used to study the figure, and in the present lot a rider and her horse with its skeleton and musculature abstracted into geometric forms. By the end of the eighteenth-century, demand from artists for accurately proportioned and fully articulating figures was so great that mannequin–makers went to ingenious and extraordinary lengths in order to engineer objects that are works of art in themselves.
By the nineteenth-century, Paris was home to the leading ateliers producing the most elaborate and lifelike mannequins articulés. Built with hardwood, it has been beautifully hand-planed and defines the musculature of the body, and an ingenious accordion of leather has been used to render the more pliable form of the horse’s neck.