Subject:Re: Japanese Bronze Bust Woman
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Apr 13, 2013
This appears to be either an original or good copy of a darkly patinated bronze called "Head of a Laotian Woman" sculpted by prolific Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thanh Le (b. 1919). Nguyen had a gallery in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) during the war years, and may have continued to produce such works afterward. Nothing I've read on him indicates whether he is still alive, but if he is, I rather doubt he is still active. Many of his works were brought back to the USA by returning military personnel circa the late 60's and early 70's.
His works still have a market, and if you search his name via Google or sites like liveauctioneers.com, you should come up with current values.
The mark in archaized Chinese characters shown in your photo is a bit unclear to me but may read down as "Viet Che" (越制 -Made in Vietnam - standard characters shown here). I've attached another photo with a better rendition of that mark. There are quite a few variations in how Nguyen's works and those attributed to him are signed.