He sculpted the statue of the Grand Condé which sits in the main courtyard of the Palace of Versailles. He also created the pediment of the Pantheon. David d’Angers (1788 – 1856) is an eminent representative of the Romantic period of French sculpture. By a happy coincidence, an auctioneer from the Daguerre house in Val de Loire authenticated two bas-reliefs signed by the Angevin sculptor and of which no trace had been lost for almost two centuries. Each estimated at between 20 and 30,000 euros, they will be sold at auction on March 22 in Paris.

As sometimes, small miracles happen during an expertise. A woman from the Maine et Loire region thought she knew that “two Angers were kept” in her barn, without however “imagining their values”. After authentication work, the experts from the Daguerre house, notably the auctioneer Malo de Lussac, found in the wooden box of the barn two “preparatory bas-reliefs, unique and unknown to the general public”. This is the collection of Victor Pavie, a close friend of David d’Angers who gave him these two beautiful gifts.

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The first The Benefits of Printing in America, produced around 1840, a plaster work, was the sketch of the pedestal of the Gutenberg monument, which today sits on the square dedicated to the great German printer in Strasbourg. The second bas-relief is made of terracotta. Named Cheverus carrying consolations to the savages and sculpted in 1845, this work served as the “first draft” for the statue of Cardinal Cheverus, still erected in Mayenne.

The two unpublished works by David d’Angers will be exhibited at Drouot on March 20, 21 and 22. Then they will go under the hammer of the commissioner of the Parisian auction room, on Friday March 22 from 2 p.m.