VERY FINE AND RARE CARVED AND POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED WOODEN PANEL OF TEMPTATION, HENRI (HENRY) BERNHARDT (B. 1870), SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, CIRCA 1935
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VERY FINE AND RARE CARVED AND POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED WOODEN PANEL OF TEMPTATION, HENRI (HENRY) BERNHARDT (B. 1870), SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, CIRCA 1935

Estimate: 25,000 - 35,000 USD

VERY FINE AND RARE CARVED AND POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED WOODEN PANEL OF TEMPTATION, HENRI (HENRY) BERNHARDT (B. 1870), SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, CIRCA 1935

Estimate: 25,000 - 35,000 USD

Lot Details

Description

VERY FINE AND RARE CARVED AND POLYCHROME PAINT-DECORATED WOODEN PANEL OF TEMPTATION, HENRI (HENRY) BERNHARDT (B. 1870), SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, CIRCA 1935


Height 29 ½ in. by Width 40 in. by Depth 3 ⅜ in.

Condition Report

In overall very fine condition. Nominal scattered loss throughout on apex points. Light-handed inpainting on Adam's proper left wrist, Eve's pointer finger, and small vine proper upper left under ultraviolet light inspection. Two hairline shrinkage cracks proper right side of frame. Slight fading of lower border.


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In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Cataloguing

Provenance

Allan Katz, Woodbridge, Connecticut.

Catalogue Note

Henry (Henri) Bernhardt was an eccentric artist who gained national notoriety on August 7,1939, when Life magazine published photos of the life-sized statues of nude women he had placed on his front lawn, each enclosed in a glass box. In a letter to the magazine's editor, a Spartanburg resident reported that "there's been much discussion about them. Every time the neighbors complain about them, he adds another figure." In late October 1939, the Spartansburg Herald-Journal announced that Bernhardt planned to open a museum “that would house numbers of [his] wood carvings and paintings, recognized by authorities as some of the best throughout the South.” Among the sculptures described in the article are a head of Christ and figures of King Herod, Salome in a dancing pose, and a slave bearing the severed head of John the Baptist. This earlier relief carving of Eve seducing Adam may have been among the works intended for the museum and is a prime example of Bernhardt’s provocative style.

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