Anna Coleman Ladd Bronze Sundial Sculpture 1910
This is a unique work by a most extraordinary human being and accomplished sculptor Anna Coleman Ladd (American 1878-1939). Signed and dated 1910, it is an honor to acquire this particular piece, one of the most significant and detailed sculptures in her oeuvre, and likely the result of a private commission. Although extremely talented, having also studied with Auguste Rodin, Ladd was not as prolific in producing sculptures, as she would become in her work as a mask maker. As such, this rare piece is all the more noteworthy.
The significance of the sundial is enhanced in retrospect of her remarkable life. The themes predate those that would endure through her innovative and unique humanitarian effort during World War 1. During this period Ladd repurposed her advanced skills as a sculptor, to pioneer the creation of highly personalized prosthetic masks for disfigured soldiers, in what culminated in her most significant humanist project.
In 1917, Ladd co-founded the Studio for Portrait Masks in Paris’ Latin Quarter, operated with funds from the American Red Cross. Until 1919, the studio painstakingly produced 185 masks, always attempting to bare the closest possible resemblance to a prewar soldier’s uninjured face. Her process involved an expanded approach to portraiture, often meeting subjects over several sessions, in order to reach an expression that reflected both the soldier’s features, but more allusively, their personality.
This large bronze sundial depicts three male figures holding laurel garland, encircling a Corinthian style column with an acanthus leaf base and capital. The different stages of life are symbolized as a youthful blindfolded boy, a strong willed soldier, and an aging philosopher.
Signed “A.LADD, marked "ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y", and dated "MCMX" (1910). From an Osterville, Massachusetts estate. The Bronze retains it’s original untouched patina, showing wonderful verdigris, and comes with the original marble base.
52.5" H x 21" D