Any information on maker of Lady Justice bronze?

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Sedona, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Sedona

    Sedona Well-Known Member

    Good afternoon, all. We’ve had this Lady Justice statue in the family for several decades (I think it was a gift, but the exact origin is a mystery). It is bronze on a marble base, super-heavy, and over a foot tall. It’s signed Boston Bronze Palermo. I’ve seen a couple of others online (a listing for another one says it’s 12 pounds), but they are missing the scales (there’s a little hook that fits in the hole of the hand), and provide no information about the maker or the age. The detail is really good, particularly the sword. Aesthetically, it’s a very pretty and well-done interpretation of Lady Justice.

    I can’t find anything online about the maker. Was there a Boston Bronze foundry in Boston, and if so, when? Is Palermo the name of the designer?

    My guess is that it’s 19th century, but the model has a fairly modern figure (very hourglass with a tightly hugging dress, with toned arms), and longer hair (e.g. the “flapper” style of the 1920s was bobbed hair with drop-waisted dresses, not something this curvy). Many other Lady Justice figures have the model wear something akin to battle armor. This one is wearing a gown that looks similar to the toga worn by the Columbia Pictures logo model (who of course has short hair). She’s wearing sandals. So, maybe the dress and style of the lady figurine itself is a clue to the age.

    I’d appreciate any information about its maker and age. Thank you!

    8958D9BA-8112-401D-9E63-BC1B918B5EF8.jpeg 09F01DF5-8184-44F6-A646-6F314EB540B6.jpeg 4A3407EA-B808-4F41-BBA0-B84F19AB55EF.jpeg 4C60961F-DE8F-4390-A3C2-065BCB61E37B.jpeg D93EA0D7-3677-4C4D-9524-9FABE4D33046.jpeg
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  2. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    I had a quick look online and found a classified ad by the Boston Bronze co., looking for "canvassers" in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle dated march 27th 1910, so I imagine your figure dates from approximately the same time.

    I didn't get a free account with the site so all I could get was the OCR version of the text, which as you can see, has a few goofs in it. Boston city directories might be a good source also.

    BTW, I went looking for "Boston Bronze co."

    CANVASSING agents and sideline salesaien; get our l.cvv lenrjtr, selling for fjic. and 7"e. on sight ; 100 per cent, profit. Particulars from Boston Bronze Co.. Boston. Mass.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
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  3. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    From Wikipedia:

    The copyright symbol © was introduced in the United States in section 18 of the Copyright Act of 1909, and initially applied only to pictorial, graphic and sculptural works.

    She has an art nouveau look to her, so 1910 may be just about right for the design. When it was cast...?
  4. Sedona

    Sedona Well-Known Member

    Thanks. That’s good to know.
  5. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    It seems odd that a search for "Boston Bronze Palermo" brings up only entries related to this sculpture. And there are quite a few of them. And aside from the newspaper ad that Blooey found, along with a few other similar ones that I can't view because no subscription, I see no other information in a search for "Boston Bronze Co." It has been in your family for several decades, @Sedona , and that is a good sign that it is not extremely modern. Maybe it's just an obscure company, or a company whose history has not been swept up into the Internet yet?
    blooey likes this.
  6. Sedona

    Sedona Well-Known Member

    Thank you, all, for your responses. I’m surprised the company seems so obscure. It was a long-ago gift but no one can even remember the giver!
    Figtree3 likes this.
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