Rodin 'Thinker' auction expected to reach up to 14 mn euros
A cast of "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin will be auctioned in Paris on June 30, expected to reach between 9 and 14 million euros ($10-$15 million), Christie's said Thursday.
One of the most iconic works of art in the world, it features a man resting his chin on his hand and was originally conceived as a representation of Italian author Dante.
Around 40 copies are in existence -- many of them made after the artist's death in 1917.
The copy on sale in Paris, with black and brown patina, was part of a private Parisian collection and was made in 1928 by the Alexis Rudier foundry that cast several of Rodin's most famous bronzes.
"The Thinker" was initially conceived as a much smaller sculpture in the 1880s, part of Rodin's "Gates of Hell" series based on Dante's "The Divine Comedy".
It was later enlarged and became a standalone piece.
The French state commissioned 26 copies of the statue between 1919 and 1969, and there have been long-running legal battles over other versions of the statue.
As well as copies at the Rodin Museum and his grave just outside Paris, some of the most valuable are found at Columbia University in New York, the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and the Ca'Pesaro museum in Venice.
The statue being auctioned at Christie's will go on tour from Friday, showing in New York and Hong Kong before being presented in Paris from June 23.
The record for a Rodin "Thinker" was set at a Sotheby's auction in New York in 2013, when one sold for $15.2 million.