A Fine Pair of Neoclassical Style Gilt and Patinated Bronze Nine-Light Candelabra
A Fine Pair of Neoclassical Style Gilt and Patinated Bronze Nine-Light Candelabra by Ferdinand Barbedienne. Each candelabra has a central gilt-bronze...
DimensionsHeight: 88 cm (35 in)
Width: 35 cm (14 in)
Depth: 35 cm (14 in)
Weight: 37.6 kg
A Fine Pair of Neoclassical Style Gilt and Patinated Bronze Nine-Light Candelabra by Ferdinand Barbedienne.
Each candelabra has a central gilt-bronze vase shaped nozzle issuing nine scrolling foliate branches with circular drip-pans and fluted nozzles, above a patinated bronze vase decorated all over with classical mythological scenes, headed to each side by fantastical mask form handles, above a sprerading circular base inscribed ‘F. Barbedienne’, on a spreading fluted rouge girotte marble base with gilt-bronze acanthus and paw cast feet.
The superbly cast mask form handles to the side of each vase are modelled as chimerical ibex after the model of vase by the celebrated eighteenth-century sculptor Clodion (1738-1814), made during his time at the French Academy in Rome from 1762 to 1771. One noted terracotta example, formerly in the collection of the princely Russian Dolgoroukov family, is now in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (H.CK-2093), exhibited at the Clodion exhibition, musee du Louvre in 1992. A related example in marble, notably in the treatment of the masks, is in the Wallace Collection, London (S32).
French, Circa 1870.
Ferdinand Barbedienne (6 August 1810 – 21 March 1892) was a French metalworker and manufacturer, who was well known as a bronze founder.
The son of a small farmer from Calvados, he started his career as a dealer in wallpaper in Paris. In 1838 he went into partnership with Achille Collas (1795-1859), who had just invented a machine to create miniature bronze replicas of statues. Together they started a business selling miniatures of antique statues from museums all over Europe, thus democratising art and making it more accessible to households. From 1843 they extended their scope by reproducing the work of living artists and also diversified by making enamelled household objects. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 the firm briefly had to switch to cannon founding owing to the shortage of metals but resumed business afterwards. Following Barbedienne’s death in 1892, he was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery and the firm was carried on by his nephew Gustave Leblanc until 1952.
Among the principal artists reproduced by the firm were Antoine Louis Barye and Auguste Rodin.