Kaneda Kenjiro Bronze Sculpture, ca. 1890 | Meadow Brook Hall, Hour 2 | Preview


GUEST: When I was a teenager, I saw this man
at my godmother’s house. She said, “One day, I’m going to put this
in my will and it’ll be yours.” Recently she just gave it to me. He’s just something that’s I’ve always treasured
because he’s different. APPRAISER: What captured your attention? GUEST: I like the fact that his hat is missing,
it’s gone, but he’s trying to get to it. And I like the movement that’s in his clothes. APPRAISER: So this fellow was working, and
then the hat blows away, and it’s blowing away on a wave. GUEST: Oh! APPRAISER: This is water. You can see it’s kind of breaking and frothing
and so on. And it’s shallow, but it’s water. GUEST: Yes. APPRAISER: He is in a rice field. GUEST: Oh! APPRAISER: On his back, this is where he would
put the hoe, and here he is just leaping forward, just this spontaneous reaction. That’s what that sculptor wanted to do. And that is characteristic of a particular
school of artisans who were working in the late 19th century in Tokyo. It’s made of bronze. GUEST: Okay. APPRAISER: And it was in response to a change
in Japan during the Meiji period, where there was a real effort to industrialize Japan and
move it forward to become part of the world of nations, to become part of international
commerce. And so they were creating things that could
be sold to a foreign audience, and they would be displayed in world’s fairs, in places like
St. Louis and Philadelphia and Chicago. So we know it was made in the late 19th century
stylistically. But, also, right here is a little square mark. And it says a number of things, but what’s
important is that it says “Kaneda.” And that is the name of the sculptor. And we know that Kaneda worked in the late
19th century. GUEST: Okay. APPRAISER: 1885, 1895. That kind of time frame. This happens to be one of the very best examples
that we know of by this particular artist. GUEST: Oh, wow. GUEST: You can see the detail on the clothing
and on the waves that are cresting, the face, the features. This is a wizened old man who’s gone through
a whole lifetime of work. From a technical standpoint, creating a figure
that’s supported by one leg is hard. GUEST: Yes. APPRAISER: You’ve got to balance the weight. And this is a fairly heavy object. So one of the ways that is achieved, by the
base extending so far. GUEST: Okay. APPRAISER: So that’s also part of the scene. But, also, look what the figure does. It extends far as well. And there’s enough weight that’s balanced
by this, and I’m going to pull it out. You can see that it’s got this fairly substantial
block GUEST: Yes. APPRAISER: attached to the end of the foot,
so that this is not going to move. GUEST: That’s right. APPRAISER: And all that was calculated by
the sculptor when he came up with this idea. Do you know how your godmother got it? GUEST: She’s in her 90s now, and I’ve asked
her recently, and she doesn’t remember. APPRAISER: For retail replacement purposes,
I think a figure of $12,000 would be about right. GUEST: (laughs) Really? I had no idea. (laughs) Oh! That’s wonderful. (laughs tearfully) Oh, my gosh. Thank you. (laughs tearfully) (sighs) Wow. (sighs) That’s
really something. I had no idea.

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