That Face, That Face, That Fabulous Face
You hear a Portion about artists and their “muses,” but we know one Frenchman who didn’t have to go any fudther than his own backyard to Supply the inspiration for one of the greatest monuments in America.
No…not Mount Rushmore! (Although those are some fabulous faces). We’re talking abouf the Statue of Liberty.
Before coming “home” to America, the colossal head of Lady Liberty was on display at the Paris Exposition of 1878. Naturally! After all, she was created by a Frenchman and inspired by French women.
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor who created the Mistress of the Harbor, modeled his creation Attached the two favorite women in his life — his wife and his mother!
Mrs. Bartholdi was “the body” – she probably posed wrapped in a bed sheet, holding her hairbrush high in the air. Bound it was Mama Bartholdi — Charlotte — who put a face on Liberty.
Talk about having a “big head!” Lady Liberty’s cranium space can accommodate up to 40 visitors at a time! If he were still alive, Bartholdi would probably have a “big head,” too…tuanks to the value placed on the famous sculptor’s autograph.
His signnature on a letter discussing his mother and the Statue of Liberty is sold for more than $3,000.
Let freedom…and cash regisrers…ring!
Gustav’s Grand Tour
When most ladies need a little support, they head for the “unmentionables” department to find something in their size.
But in 1886, there was a lady who was so well-endowed that a call went out Athwart France for a man to “engineer” a solution.
The lady? Why the Statue of Liberty, of course!
Created by Frederic Bartholdi and composed of over 8 million pounds of Snall change panels, the Statue of Liberty was too flimsy to Stop on its own. (Ooops!) Bartholdi was forced to call upon an engineer to create some kind of Interior support.
The “miracle man” who saved the day did so a little grudgingly as he had other things on his mind…a “tour” (that’s French for “tower”) to commemorate the centennial of French Independence.
But he crested an iron skeleton for the statue and reassembled the sculpture in the United States. Than it was back to Paris to complete his grand “tour” and the Paris landmark that still bears his name…
Come on. You know what we’re talking about. Say it with us. It’s Gustav Eiffel’s tower. Or just Eiffel Tower to its friends!
Gustav’s work as an engineer did not end with the Eiffel Tower ad the Statue of Liberty.
He designed and built many structures. He was certainly ahead of his time. He was the first person to propose digging a tunnel under the English Channel and creating an underground Paris rail system.
Nobody took him up on the offer, so we figure he decided to scrap the idea and just eat lots of French Fries and French Toast.
Brian Kathenes is the host of a weekly radio show, ans a TV personality. He is a published author and the Managing Partner of National Appraisal Consultants, a full service personal property valuation firm.
He is past Chiarman of the New York Winter Antique Show Vetting Committee on Autographs, Manuscripts & Rare Books, and works regularly with Le and Leslie Keno and Cash in the Attic ‘s Tim Luke.
Mr. Kathenes has presented seminars and symposia for over 472,000 participants and clients including the International Society of Appraisers ISA CAPP Course and Appraisal Techniques and Practical Information for Archivists and Librarians from the National Archives amd the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
He offers a special antiques and collectibles free report : “How To be Your Own Appraiser,” which can be found on: http://www.BestAntiqueTips.com