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silla was born out of a passion for beautiful objects: special pieces with aesthetic and historical significance. In 2009, after years of collecting, Andrew Silla and his wife Grace began to work privately with clients from their residence in Southern Maryland. Quickly outgrowing the space, the business was moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania in 2012 and after several warehouse location changes it was firmly settled in the present brick-and-mortar location in downtown Shippensburg.

The 9000 square foot brick-and-mortar gallery is home to a large collection of works of art and estate jewelry. We specialize in sculpture circa 1860 through 1930 with a particular emphasis on the Animaliers and as such the gallery always has a very large collection of exceptional European and American sculpture available on display.

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"Mask of Anna Pavlova" | Malvina Hoffman

Hoffman, Malvina

Regular Price: $6,500.00
SKU:
404TYL12Q
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catalog text

MALVINA CORNELL HOFFMAN
United States, 1887-1966

"Mask of Anna Pavlova"

Verde patinated bronze over raised on acrylic veneered plinth | signed on the back "M. HOFFMAN"

Item # 404TYL12Q 

Rather scarce and inordinately elegant, this fine model is almost certainly a bust of the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova (1881-1931), whom Malvina Hoffman in many ways worshipped. They were close friends with and together with her troupe worked with Hoffman as models for her various sculptures. Hoffman made another "Mask of Anna Pavlova" in 1924, a tinted wax example of which is held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art showing Pavlova with a jeweled headress as a Byzantine Madonna. The present cast is pictured on the dustjacket of Hoffman's book "Yesterday is Tomorrow" and shows a more human version of the dancer, her cap retaining her hair as her eyes are downward focused but nonetheless amused and proud. A few examples of this cast have been offered over the last several decades, though the present is one of the finest we've seen catalogued. On September 28th of 1989, the model was offered at Christie's, New York where it achieved $ 6600. This particular cast was acquired in 2005 at Christies in New York. But other examples have made it to market over the years, for example with an odd chalky patination sold at Brunk Auctions in September of 2022 (lot 679, achieved $ 3250).

Finished in a brilliant verde patination, the surface positively glows. Her features are sharp and exquisitely cast. The mask is left hollow and is mounted on an acrylic veneered squared plinth, the back proper right edge of the mask signed "M. HOFFMAN". A very fine acquisition.

Provenance:

  • Christie's, New York, 29 November 2005, lot 741, achieved $ 5,760 USD
  • Private Collection, Kansas City

Artist Listings & Bibliography:

  • Yesterday is Tomorrow, Malvina Hoffman, present model illustrated


Measurements: 7" H overall; 5 3/8" H without the base; 3 1/8" W x 3 1/8" D [base]

Condition Report:
Minor scuffs and losses to the patina. Carefully cleaned and sealed in-house in conservator's grade wax; a very fine presentation.