Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), Medicine Whip, bronze, 10 inches high, inscribed with skull insignia 'CMR 1911' and 'Cal Br Foundry LA', Modeled in 1911.

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Lot 157
Charles Marion Russell
(1864-1926)
Medicine Whip 9 3/4in high

US$ 70,000 - 100,000
£ 56,000 - 80,000
Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
Medicine Whip
inscribed with skull insignia 'CMR 1911' (on the base) and 'Cal. Br. Foundry. L.A.' (along the base)
bronze
9 3/4in high
Modeled in 1911.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection, Switzerland.
    Trade, Geneva, Switzerland.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above, circa 2015.

    Literature
    R. Stewart, Charles M. Russell: Sculptor, Fort Worth, Texas, 1994, pp. 190-93, no. R-10, other examples illustrated.

    The model for the present work was copyrighted by Charles Russell on July 21, 1911, as Mounted Indian. He described the work as an "Indian riding [a] horse with a single thong for [a] bridle and bit." (R. Stewart, Charles M. Russell: Sculptor, Fort Worth, Texas, 1994, p. 190) The work is believed to illustrate a Blackfoot Indian on horseback carrying a medicine pipe and bundle across the front of his saddle. Lieutenant James H. Bradley, an observer of the Blackfeet in Montana, explained, "their owners were called pipe stem bearers, and the position was one of great distinction." During the artist's lifetime, Russell also titled the work Mounted Blackfoot. It wasn't until after the artist's death, when copyrighted again by the artist's wife, Nancy Russell, was the title Medicine Whip assigned and henceforth exhibited as such. (ibid, pp. 190-91)

    Rick Stewart, Charles Russell scholar, estimates that approximately nine lifetime casts exist of Medicine Whip. The present work is likely one of the later casts that were made under Nancy Russell's supervision. Another example from this posthumous, limited edition is in the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas. Other examples of the bronze can be found in the collection of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Contacts
Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), Medicine Whip, bronze, 10 inches high, inscribed with skull insignia 'CMR 1911' and 'Cal Br Foundry LA', Modeled in 1911.
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