E. Tell – Goldscheider “Judith”, circa 1900
In South America, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay were for many years a great source of supply of artworks including Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I started to regularly go there in the mid eighties, albeit a bit late, but nonetheless managed to acquire several great pieces which are still in my collection except for Edgar Brandt’s Oasis screen which fetched the highest price ever paid at the time for an Art Deco Object in 2000 at Christie’s New York.
On one such trip, along with my friend Brian Bates a very good dealer who has been living in Chile for some fourty years now, we visited the Don Quijote antique shop Of Sergio Furas in Montevideo and here was that superb pâte de verre and patinated ivory sculpture, a true jewel displayed in a cabinet. It was not unusual back then to come across masterpieces resting on a shelf amidst run-of-the-mill objects.
The molded signature in the glass paste read E Tell but having never heard of him or her and convinced that the pate de verre was the work Of A. Walter in Nancy I thought for a moment that E Tell was actually E(ugene) Gall the chief glass decorator at the Daum Fréres workshops. It made sense.
We purchased the piece from Sergio at quite a hefty price and as we stepped out ofhis shop I offered Brian a nice profit for his share which he promptly accepted.
Back home I started to do my homework and found out that the actual model rightly named Judith had been edited by the firm Of Goldscheider in bronze, bronze and ivory and terracotta in at least two sizes. The sculptor was in fact a certain E. Tell who seemed to have worked exclusively for Goldscheider and I have had few Of his pieces since then. Still to this day I have not been able to find Out anything about him or her and neither have all the colleagues and scholars I have approached. Can anyone help ?