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‘Sport-nautique’ by Frederic Focht, c. 1930
A magnificent bronze of a stylized speed goddess riding the waves in an Art Deco style rocket/boat, boldly signed ‘Fred C Focht’, with foundry mark ‘Bronze Chardon’, the whole mounted on an ebonized black wooden base.
Length overall: 31 inches (80 cms).
Additional Notes: Focht has patinated the bronze in a verdigris green and it is signed in the mould with foundry mark. Its dramatic form and imposing size combine to endow the piece with great physical presence. It is one of only two known examples of this model.
Frederick Focht was born in Paris in 1879 and studied under the celebrated sculptor Falguiere. His remarkable talent was recognised early in his career, exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Français and winning the coveted Medal of Honour in 1900 at the tender age of 21. Focht was responsible for some of the most striking bronzes of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Apparently his talents did not end there, he is also recorded as having been an opera singer of some note.
Fascinated by the link between human form and stylised machine, his bronzes have depicted speed gods evolving into aircraft, semi-abstract automobiles and locomotives, and this example, Focht’s only known work of a moto-nautical nature.