Often referred to as la Boudeuse (meaning pout, or the sulky in french), This sculpture is actually called young girl with braids it’s catalogue number is AP1931, it was made by Austin Productions Incorporated in 1978. She is part of the Classical collection.
I’m writing this post for anyone who has one of these Austin Prod lovely young ladies and wants to know more about her. Hope this helps, I found researching her was tough going – as this particular Austin reproduction is apparently quite rare.
I purchased her a few days ago second-hand for $50NZ and it arrived in the post the next day. As previously mentioned in my post Staging to Live. The seller had very little information on her and had listed her from unknown origins. She was in perfect condition and came with her original ticket from the producers.
A web search turned up very little as Austin Productions Inc is no longer trading (hence rarity). But there were two busts the same as mine showing at the time of my search, both again showing little information apart from her size (18″high and 13″approx wide) and inscribed signature. Reproductions however of this little beauty are not rare by any means an astonishing number can be found in any google image search.
There is a company in France called AVANT still producing this little lady if you cannot get you hands on the real thing. Saly also produced a very large number of them too so if you hold out and patience doesn’t consume you, you may be able to own the real deal.
After careful redefining of my search looking specifically for the original on which this bust was based; I found a dissertation on the subject of youth in art which was skillfully written and discussed the original bust, its origins, the artist and it’s popularity spurning a wave of like objects being created and also of copies being made. It’s very interesting and features a number of sculptures and paintings, with an in-depth focus on the original Saly girl with braids bust. Well worth a read if you are interested.
here’s just a snippet:
“A portrait of a young girl in marble by the French Sculptor Jacques Saly is mentioned (by French Sculptor/Historian Stanislas Lami) as being exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1750. The art collector and connoisseur Mariette mentions (in 1753) a pretty head of a young girl, in marble, being sculpted by Saly in Rome. Various versions of this bust survive, and a number of writers have discussed them. These include another marble version, thought to be the original (in a private collection), and other versions in terracotta, bronze and faience… Saly’s bust has enduring appeal and has been frequently copied, including in the nineteenth century… Jacques François Joseph Saly, more usually known as Jacques Saly (1717-1776), was born in France and initially trained under the sculptor Guillaume Coustou.”
I was also extremely lucky that the previous owner was the original owner and kept the original ticket that came with the bust. Although there is no mention on the ticket that the Austin is a reproduction, it does offer answers about the company that produced it and what it was made from – which this one is gray glazed white terracotta.
For reference here are some pictures of original Saly sculptures to compare. You’ll see that the Austin bust is unmistakably a copy. Albeit a thoughtful and careful one, but still a copy. I think she is delicious and moody!
J. Saly originals…
Hope the background/links help anyone who comes across this beautiful wee lady.