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'Prouesse' by Charles Soudant, 1907
A large bronze trophy, circa 1907 with foundry marks for Susse Frères, Paris and stamped cire perdue (lost wax). This fine, stylish bronze was commissioned from Soudant by French-American car manufacturer Leon Rubay (1876-1937) who also used it in miniature as the mascot to adorn his Rubay automobiles.
The plaque reads ‘COUPE MAROCAINE des 1500 KMS. DES 23 & 24 JANVIER 1932, 1er DU CLASSEMENT GÉNÉRAL’.
The bronze sits on a craftsman made, 48 inch (122 cm) bespoke swept plinth, with spherical Art Deco detailing to the base (see full sized image).
Length of bronze: 22 inches (56 cm)
Height of bronze: 21 inches (53 cm)
Height overall on plinth: 69 inches (175 cm)
In accordance with (then) normal practice in France, this bronze would have been cast in an edition of no more than 8 examples. This particular cast, has an applied plaque indicating its use as the trophy for the 1932 Coupe Marocaine, a rally held over 1500 kms from Casablanca to Marrakech and back, awarded to Messrs. Malangioni and Buiges for their class victory in a De Soto SC automobile.
Leon Rubay emigrated to New York from Paris in 1902, and worked for coachbuilders Rothschild where he discovered a flair for automobile design. He later designed cars for Pierce-Arrow, and in 1923, launched his own brand of automobile. This venture became a victim of the Great Depression of 1931, and Rubay subsequently returned to his native Paris, where he died in 1937.