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A copy of a November 1989 letter from Rudy Wunderlich authenticating this as a lifetime cast will accompany the lot.

Wunderlich states, “This letter will confirm that I am familiar with and have examined the original casting of Charles M. Russell’s bronze entitled The Bucker and Buckeroo. This was first copyrighted in 1911 under the name of The Weaver. It is a scarce and very fine bronze by Russell, and according to Mrs. Russell’s records there were only 19 casts made of this many of them posthumous or after Russell’s death.

“The one that you have, is, in my opinion, a lifetime cast, made by Roman Bronze Works N.Y. … and is in excellent condition.”

According to Rick Stewart, “As noted in the catalogue entry for A Bronc Twister, the term ‘weaver’ refers to a specific action of a bucking horse-something Russell would have known and fully understood when he conceived it in sculpture. The same is true of The Bucker and the Buckaroo, which accurately depicts the behavior of a horse known to seasoned riders as a ‘sunfisher.’ According to Ramon Adams, “‘Sunfishing’ was a term used when a horse twisted his body into a crescent…or, in other words, when he seemed to try to touch the ground with first one shoulder and then the other, letting the sunlight hit his belly. Such a horse was called a ‘sunfisher.’” Russell, who could depict the myriad contortions of a bucking horse with consummate skill, claimed to have some firsthand experience with the subject. He once explained to Will James, ‘I never got to be a bronc rider but in my youthful days wanted to be and while that want lasted, I had a fine chance to study hoss enatimy from under and over. The under was a view a teripan gets. The over while I hoverd at the end of a McCarty rope was like an eagle sees-grand but dam scary for folks without wings. And, what I wanted was the saddle horn and it was far, far below me. Maby you’v been thair, looking down on a hoss with plenty of legs but no head. They ust to play peek-a boo with me lots.’”

PROVENANCE:
The Artist
The Schrager Family Collection
Mrs. Eleanor Schrager, Forest Hills, New York, by descent, 1981
Her son, by descent
Owings Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
John Cushman, Los Angeles, California, 2006

LITERATURE:
Rick Stewart, Charles M. Russell, Sculptor (Fort Worth, Texas: Amon Carter Museum, 1994), pages 268-273, example illustrated

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