H. de Roos - Towards a catalog of the Maclaren collection
Towards A Catalogue: Further Criteria For Classification
As we remember from the Guy Hain case, Hain for some pieces employed the surmoulage method. Because bronze shrinks while cooling, the authentic bronze is 1-2% smaller than the authentic foundry plaster. A casting mould produced by surmoulage on an authentic bronze will also 1-2% too small, and the fake bronze figure will accordingly be smaller than an authentic bronze. To compensate for the shrinkage, Hain heightened the base of the bronze fake. This is the effect Schaff referred to: fake copies lack integrity of form. Plaster duplicates made from first-generation foundry plasters, on the other hand, still would have the same dimensions and can be called authentic, not only because their dimensions corresponds to the bon creux moulds, but also because producing and employing such duplicates conforms to normal foundry practice.
Based on these definitions, we may distinguish now between original, authentic and non-authentic plasters in the Maclaren collection. As non-authentic, Schaff already mentioned the Hand of God plaster and Rodin´s Hand Holding a Feminine Torso.
(3) A third classification
would refer to quality. As items of mediocre
or poor quality, Schaff mentions the large Thinker plaster, the smallest
Kiss version, and the Idyll of Ixelles.
GARY MICHAEL DALT: I said something about, you know, a
couple of these don't look quite right to me. You know the Kiss doesn't
look right at all. It went around the room like wildfire that I was sort
of saying that these things were all fake and I didn't mean it that way. I
was just sort of having fun. They didn't look very good to me.
In Part III, I will treat the quality of the large Thinker plaster more in detail.
(4) A fourth classification
would be sort out the plasters in studio plasters,
exhibition plasters, presentation plasters and foundry plasters. As
already discussed in Chapter 3, the distinction between the categories is
blurred, studio plasters being exhibited, exhibition plasters being
presented, presented plasters being used - or abused - for bronze casting.
(5) The last distinction would also be between first-generation plasters and second-generation plasters or duplicates. "First" and "second" are used in a relative sense: Rodin often re-edited his plasters, so that a "first-generation" foundry plaster in fact may be number three or five in a morphological sequence. According to Schaff´s notes, the majority of the Maclaren foundry plasters are duplicates, produced in the foundry to spare the first-generation foundry plasters. Although they are farther removed from the mould, such duplicates still can be accepted as authentic - see criterion Nr. 3.
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