An Imposing Late 19th Century Napoleon III Gilt Bronze Mounted Rouge Griotte Marble Jardiniere by Barbedienne
Item # VB6
The oval waisted neck with gadrooned surround mounted with acanthus leaves, the bulbous body centered to the front and back by a palmette, flanked by large ram’s head handles, on a circular spreading foot and square base all standing on four gilt bronze lion paw feet.
Signed F. Barbedienne next to one of the ram heads.
Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892) was a highly important and prolific bronze founder of one of the most important French art foundries. He pioneered the use of mounts and, more commonly, bronze sculpture including figures and animals. Barbedienne produced catalogues of bronze reproductions of Greek and Roman classical sculpture and experimented with ‘champleve’ and ‘cloisonné’ enamels during the third quarter of the century. Barbedienne exhibited several pieces of furniture at the 1855 Paris Exhibition including a gilt-bronze mounted oak dressing table and a gilt-bronze mounted ebony veneered bookcase. Both pieces were executed in his favoured Renaissance revival style for furniture. Furniture with mounts signed by Barbedienne is extremely rare.
The Barbedienne foundry employed up to three hundred skilled labourers, handling the casting of numerous national monuments and architectural schemes. Ferdinand Barbedienne himself also took an active part in the promotion of contemporary sculpture and became one of the founders for Davis d’Angers’ medallions as well as much of Rude’s sculpture. His signature varied from hand written capitals to stamp in capitals, usually ‘F. Barbedienne, Fondeur’ or ‘BARBEDIENNE PARIS’. In 1839 Barbedienne collaborated with the inventor Achille Collas who had succeeded in enlarging and reducing works of art to arbitrary sizes by a simple mathematical calculation, allowing the accurate reduction of classical and contemporary marbles for the purpose of reproduction in bronze. In 1850 Barbedienne was commissioned to furnish the Paris town hall for which he was awarded with the ‘medaille d’ honneur’ at the Paris World Exhibition in 1855.
Height – 21 inches / 53cm
Width – 24 inches / 61cm
Depth – 15 inches / 38cm