Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session II - March 25, 2023

Sat, Mar 25, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 998

Hiram Powers Marble Bust, Proserpine

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(American, 1805-1873)

(or Persephone), wreathed with acanthus leaves and wearing a circlet of wheat, circa 1847, signed at back of neck "H. Powers sculpt", marble, 24-1/2 x 20 x 12 in.

Note: Proserpine (or Persephone) was the maiden of spring in ancient mythology and was the only daughter of Ceres (Demeter), the goddess of the harvest. Prosperine was abducted by Pluto, god of the underworld, and held captive for four months of the year, thereby causing the season of winter, but was released to earth again each spring.

Proserpine was one of Powers's most popular subjects and underwent several changes by the artist. The present work is an example of the second version in which Powers replaced an elaborate wreath of wheat with a classical base of acanthus leaves.

Literature: R.P. Wunder, Hiram Powers: Vermont Sculptor, Taftsville, Vermont, 1974, p. 18, another example illustrated; R.P. Wunder, Hiram Powers: Vermont Sculptor, vol. II, Catalogue of Works, Newark, Delaware, 1991, pp.188-202, another example illustrated.


weathered, imbed grime, crack or vein on proper right shoulder, crack to socle, some scuffing of leaves

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John W. Stark House, Springfield, Tennessee