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Live Auction

2024 Winter Fine Art, Antiques & Jewelry (Day 1)

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 09:00AM EST
Lot 516

Nison Tregor Bronze Bust of Eisenhower

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,400

Bid Increments

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$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Nison Tregor (District of Columbia / Lithuania, 1904-1972), Bronze bust of Dwight Eisenhower on black marble plinth, Titled with bronze plaque on base: "Dwight Eisenhower". Signed and dated to back of bronze: "Nison Tregor / 1957", Loose gum lable to back of plinth reads: "The Property Belonging to Honorable Ralph E. Becker". Bronze: 19" x 16 1/2" W x 11" D. Overall: 24 3/4" H x 16 1/2" W x 11" D.

Note: Included in the photo sequence is a 1957 photograph of President Eisenhower with the original clay model used for the present bronze. Alongside him is Tregor and Eisenhower's brother, Milton, who was also portrayed by Tregor.

Biography: Lithuanian-born Nison Tregor served in the Russian Army as a teenager before emigrating to the U.S. in 1922. Once in the states, he studied sculpture with Malvina Hoffman and Herman Atkins McNeil, but his art career was interrupted by World War II. In 1943 Tregor volunteered for service with the U.S. Army where he attained the grade of captain. He initially served as a medical photographer for the Army Medical Museum at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His primary duty was as a sculptor, assisting the plastic surgeons in determining the best method of reconstructing facial features disfigured by war injuries.

He was released from active duty in 1946 but served with the famed "Monuments Men" who recovered works of art looted by Nazis during World War II. Tregor went on to create busts of General Douglas MacArthur, Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York, Henry Ford, Knute Rochne of Notre Dame and many others. In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had two sittings with Tregor at the White House, and from them, Tregor produced several variants in bronze including one in the collection of the White House. It is believed to be the only time Eisenhower sat for a sculpted likeness during his Presidency.

Condition

Very good overall condition. Scattered minor surface abrasions. Loose base. Gum label semi-detached.

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Bank: Pinnacle Bank
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Phone # (865) 766-3000
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The estate of Gary R. Haynes.