John Jagger the Artist


December 14, 2019

John Jagger the Artist

To see our John Jagger bronzes click here: https://www.cityfarmhouseantiques.com/collections/fine-art

Video Translation: Hi this is Jennifer with City Farmhouse Antiques and I am here with this week's Find of the Week. This week I have these beautiful sculptured bronze cats by the famous sculptor, John Jagger. Unfortunately, John Jagger is no longer living. He died in 2013, but he is a world renowned sculptor. He lived in Chicago and was a sculptor for about 45 years.  He played piano in bars and played tennis to make enough money to get himself through school. He received his bachelors in Interior Design and a masters in Creative Design and worked for IBM later in the 50's as a senior industrial designer. He was known for his modernist, wildlife sculptures specifically big cats. These pieces here are smaller cats. His trademark as you can see are these really cool whiskers on the cats. I don't know if you can see, but the quality of the bronze has this beautiful marbled appearance. This cat has the gold metallic eyes and the trademark whiskers there. This blue cat has these beautiful, Siamese set type eyes with gold etched around the ears. His sculptures are very detailed. This one is harder to see. It is a very deep, sapphire blue with the marbled appearance throughout. They are extremely heavy. This one has a minor flaw from age that is very difficult to see on the back. Jagger lived ocean side in California and later on top of a mountain. He was a very hard working man. Like I said, he played piano to make money and put himself through school. He built four different homes during his lifetime and was known during those times to live in his studio. He would wake up and work and work and work until he was exhausted, go to bed, and get up and work again. His culmination of work was in 2005 when he was attending Bible School class that Dr. Warren Frankel was teaching, a missionary doctor in California. Jagger invited the doctor to his studio after class one day and showed him miniatures of the bronzes he had done. They had an epiphany. The doctor had a lot of land they had grown pistachios on and then grapes. They decided to cut back a portion of the property and start an area for wine tasting among the vineyards on the farmland. The good doctor commissioned Jagger to make huge bronze art pieces from the miniatures and so, together, they created this huge sculpture garden that still exists today. They had a landscaper come in and line the pathways with boxwoods amidst the sculptures. It really did become a culmination of his lifetime's work where Jagger could showcase his artistry. The gardens are in Paso Robles, California where people come to visit, even those that aren't in love with wine, which that is hard to imagine, will come just to look at his sculptures. Since his passing, one of his students, Dale  Evers, has also created bronze sculptures for the garden. It is definitely a place to visit. They have a shop there where they sell some of his miniature works in the thousands of dollars and then they also sell reproductions of his work that can be purchased fairly cheaply. He truly created masterpieces and when you look at some of the cats that he made with the wiry whiskers and the pumas he made with the wild whiskers hanging from the trees it seemed like he really loved cats...the big ones, the small ones. I love the whiskers. These are definitely one of a kind pieces and with the artist no longer living they are that much more valuable. Both pieces have a felted bottom so they won't rub on anything. This one is about 7" tall and this one is about 6" tall. The bronze and marbling is so unique in these two pieces. These are exciting finds this week. Be sure and check out our website at www.cityfarmouseantiques.com where we have more than just antiques and give us a like on our Facebook page. If you are ever in the Paso Robles area be sure and visit the Sculpterra Winery where you can see some of Jagger's work where his legacy will live on. 



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