Dolomite Carving of a Polar Bear by Georg O. Wild

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Lot 52
Dolomite Carving of a Polar Bear by Georg O. Wild

Sold for US$ 828 inc. premium
Dolomite Carving of a Polar Bear by Georg O. Wild
Idar-Oberstein, Germany
An arctic scene is evoked through the use of pristine white dolomite in this carving of a bear. Standing firm-footed on a "sheet of ice" he appears to peer through the thick slab of quartz to view his catch below. The eyes are set with small rubies. Signed GW for George O. Wild and numbered 939. Measuring 8 3/4 x 6 x 4 3/4in (22.9 x 15.2 x 12.7cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Purchased from Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles, Natural History, Sale 13327, Lot 8250.

    Georg O. Wild
    The name of Wild has a long history in the Idar-Oberstein lapidary field. The art of carving and engraving has been practiced in this family for over one hundred years. In 1839, one member of the family went to Paris to learn the art of cameo cutting. Another, Johann Karl Wild IX worked in St. Petersburg as a jeweler and engraver in the Fabergé workshops in Czarist Russia. Upon returning to Idar-Oberstein he founded his own enterprise from which sprang the firm of Georg O. Wild. Georg O. Wild was born in Idar-Oberstein on January 22, 1894. Inheriting his father's talent for engraving cameo cutting and carving stones, he started his own firm in 1921. Large numbers of his sculptures are now exhibited in the Idar-Oberstein museum and in various museums across the United States. Not only was he a gemstone carver, his gemological knowledge was equally considerable. In the United States he became particularly well-known for creating reproductions of Audobon birds in semi-precious stones. In France he executed some commissions in behalf of artist Georges Braque. Much of the carving of his animal figures was done by Wild himself, others by his assistants working in his atelier directly under his guidance. He died on November 23, 1975 at the age of 81. His business is now continued by his son, Klaus Eberhard Wild and by Manfred Weichel, his collaborator during his final years.
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