Scott Reyburn raises an interesting question about Rodin whose work reached a peak of $20m last year even after much of the boom in sculpture of several years before had already passed. Nonetheless, the Rodin market has only recently begun to get the kind of structure and authority that other more valuable sculptors like Giacometti have.
“It was a game-changer when the Rodin Committee started issuing certificates,” said Edward Horswell, director of the Sladmore Gallery in London, a specialist in 19th-century French bronzes that has a set of five small lifetime casts of “Burghers of Calais” for sale, priced at $2.4 million. “That certainty gave a boost to prices at auction. Before then, it was only a few expert dealers and collectors who knew what they were buying. It was a real minefield.”
Mr. Horswell, like many Rodin specialists, divides the sculptor’s output into “lifetime,” “middle” (which the dealer puts at 1917 to 1952) and “late” periods. Lifetime casts are traditionally valued at three times the price of posthumous versions, he said.