Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 246

Price Realized: $ 3,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(PRESIDENTS.) Karl Gerhardt. Memorial bust of Ulysses S. Grant in military uniform. Bronze, 8½ x 7½ x 4½ inches, signed and dated in the mold, with stamped number 2 (of 100); minimal wear. [Hartford, CT], 1885

Additional Details

The sculptor Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940) secured the patronage of Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain), who paid for his education in Paris. Gerhardt accompanied Clemens on a visit to the dying President Grant on 20 March 1885, spent the day perfecting a clay model, and had this bust available for sale by 14 May. Sold by subscription with the backing of Clemens, 100 numbered bronzes were offered for $50 each, in addition to others in terracotta for $5. The president's son Frederick Grant wrote a testimonial letter noting that "they were modelled from life" and "an excellent likeness." When Grant later passed on 23 July, Gerhardt was granted the exclusive right to create the death mask.