05-10-2019 05-10-2019
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
3248B Boston
May 10, 2019 10:00 AMCalender

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, 1848-1907) Cornish Masque Plaquette

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 3248B Location: Boston Date / Time: May 10, 2019 10:00AM


Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, 1848-1907)

Cornish Masque Plaquette
Inscribed "[Names of Participants] AMOR VINCIT [on altar]...IN·AFFECTIONATE·REMEMBRANCE·OF·THE·CELEBRATION·OF·JUNE XXIII MCMV/·AUGUSTA·AND·AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS·" within the cast, stamped "BRONZE" and with the foundry mark of Janvier et Duval along the bottom edge.
Silver-plated bronze, 3 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (7.9 x 4.5 cm).
Condition: Minor wear.

Provenance: From the collection of Maxfield Parrish, by direct descent within the Parrish family to the current owner.

Literature: John H. Dryfhout, The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Hanover & London: University Press of New England, 1982), pp. 276-77.

N.B. This medal, which belonged to Maxfield Parrish, commemorates the "Masque of the Golden Bowl" held at Cornish, New Hampshire, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's founding of the Cornish Art Colony. At the time, Saint-Gaudens was seriously ill with cancer, and the fête was planned to honor and celebrate him. Held on the summer solstice of 1905 at Saint-Gaudens's estate, Aspet, the Masque was a classically themed, outdoor pageant, written by playwright Louis Evans Shipman. There were over seventy participants, all members of the Cornish Colony, including Maxfield Parrish, Kenyon Cox, and Percy MacKaye. Musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, hidden in the surrounding trees, provided the musical accompaniment. As part of the festivities, Saint-Gaudens was honored with a golden cup, and at the end of the evening he and his family were carried back to the house in a chariot. Saint-Gaudens was so moved by the celebration that he created the plaquette to be presented to the participants and to a handful of honored guests.

The design presents the stage of the Masque, with Maxfield Parrish's masks adorning the columns, and the gold cup crowning the arching panel at the top. The top and bottom panels are filled with the names of all of the colony members who participated in the Masque, and at the lower center Saint-Gaudens included a view of the chariot that transported him home.
Estimate $6,000-8,000

The plaquette is 1/16 inch thick.

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Kenyon Cox, Percy MacKaye, Louis Evans Shipman, John H. Dryfhout, London, Cornish