A New York auction house could not authenticate it, but a sculpture that a family owned since 1960 finally got validation as an original work by Auguste Rodin when it sold for $306,800 at a Falls Church, Virginia, aucition on Saturday.
The marble and bronze sculpture of a downward facing woman with crossed legs, titled “Le Désespoir [Despair],” was hammered down to German bidder by Quinn's Auction Galleries. Matthew Quinn had taken the piece to Jérôme Le Blay, who heads the Comité Auguste Rodin, to get his stamp of approval.
The consignors said their grandfather acquired the piece prior to 1960. For decades, it sat next to their family's gerbil cage.