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 The Snake Priest

 4 by 8 3/4 by 4 1/2 inches Bronze 

Charles Marion Russell art
 #CS-17423 

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    Event History :
  • 2014 December Auction (NS)
Inscribed: 'C.M. Russell © [artist symbol/Buffalo Skull], base; Calif. Art Bronze Fndy. L.A. (back edge),' base

The Hopi villages in Northern New Mexico celebrated every other year the Snake Ceremony that took place over a 24-day period. The present offering depicts the moment in the Hopi ceremony when the priest exerts control over the reptile. Russell created the model in 1914 and it was first cast in 1916 by Zoppo Foundry in New York City. Due to illness, Zoppo returned to Italy and the foundry was closed in 1926. Nancy Russell, who closely managed the casting process of all of her husband’s sculptures, had the model sent to California Art Foundry who made castings from 1929 to 1934. In the opinion of Russell authority Rick Stewart, no more than ten lifetime castings were made. The term lifetime casting is defined by Stewart as any cast made until Nancy Russell’s death in 1940. 

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